Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Feel Grateful in Challenging Times

I have to admit: it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’ve had a cold for a while and it has really taken a toll on me. I noticed an unusual sensation in one of my teeth, so I made an appointment with the dentist to have it looked at. I was in a bad mood so I decided to try to shift out of it. I opened up Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Magic, which is all about the power of gratitude. I only read a couple of lines and I instantly felt my mood start to shift.
On my way to the dentist, I decided to look for things to feel grateful for, even in the midst of my frustration. I put on some nice music and I decided to relax and enjoy the ride. I arrived early and I got a call from a friend at the perfect moment. Our conversation inspired me in so many ways. I walked into the dentist’s office and the woman at the front desk greeted me by name, my hygienist was so friendly and caring, and it turns out the pain I was feeling was related to my sinuses!
I went to a café afterwards to do some writing and my day kept unfolding beautifully. When the girl at the counter asked me what I wanted, she did a little dance and we both laughed. I found a table and sat down. A little while later, this friendly young man sat at a table nearby and we ended up talking for quite a while.
All these lovely moments were happening because of my state of mind. I was feeling so good, and I know that everyone around me could feel it. I realized that my circumstances were reflecting my positive mood.

I experienced something similar when a former coworker suggested I start a gratitude journal. I played with the idea mentally and I noticed my whole day started to shift. I stopped at the bookstore on my way home, and I noticed people were making eye contact with me and smiling at me. This man said hello to me like we knew each other for years! I felt inspired to get Rhonda Byrne’s Gratitude Journal. When I got to the section of the bookstore where it would be, there were two women browsing, and I noticed one of the women put a book back on the shelf. Can you guess what book it was? It was the gratitude journal! I was pleasantly shocked by this synchronistic moment and it really got my attention.

So how do you shift to a state of gratitude in the midst of challenges?
Take a few deep breaths and realize that whatever you have going on is temporary
Look for the hidden blessings in it
Acknowledge the good things you see around you
See the challenge as an opportunity to use your innate strength and wisdom

Even when it seems like things are going wrong all around you, there are always things to feel grateful for. When you start to notice them, your mood will shift and you’ll probably forget what was bothering you! It feels good to think grateful thoughts, and everyone around you will feel it, too.

You can also read it here:

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