Do you suppose that my gratitude has anything to do with my state of well-being? Could your expression of gratitude increase your level of health and wealth?
You might be surprised to discover that it does.
You can try an experiment and discover for yourself what the effect is. When someone begins working with me I frequently request that they begin a personal journal. The purpose of it is to have a place to pour out their experiences, thoughts and feelings, and to then learn to observe more carefully.
The journal in effect becomes a sort of mirror for them. A private book to explore who they are and who they intend to become.
A woman I’ll call Marie recently began to work with me. She certainly had some big challenges in her life, and had been feeling anxious and unhappy for quite some time.
Because of her children and husband, she was motivated to get to the bottom of what was going on, and to change her negative frame of mind. She didn’t like feeling so irritable with them and had the insight to realize that it was HER problem, not theirs.
There is no doubt that what we are thinking sets the stage for our moods and behaviors. And there is also no doubt that this form of energy is transmitted to others all the time whether we intend it or not.
Most importantly, this energy level establishes how we are feeling, whether we can focus on what is important to us, and what we are able to accomplish.
When we are focused on what’s wrong or lacking in life, our energy level is low. When our self talk is critical and harsh, we begin lacking joy and enthusiasm for life. And we soon feel like a car that is running out of gas, or a flickering light bulb that is burning out. No energy, no light.
Expressing gratitude is a powerful way to change your focus to the positive, and in turn to energize your mind and body. I am constantly amazed at how simple, easy, yet powerful this is!
My suggestion for Marie was to begin by writing a list of ten things in her journal for which she was grateful. She could do this at the beginning or the end of her day (or BOTH). As she wrote, she was instructed to really feel the emotions that came up.
I also told her that as she went through the day and if grateful words came to her mind, she could jot them down and then put them in her journal that evening. I encouraged her to expand on the length of the list if she could.
The point is to make a shift from complaining about what is missing in your life to what is present and bountiful in your life. Pay attention to what happens to your energy level and to your mood. I’m guessing that this practice will convince you of the power of gratitude to help heal your life.
Janet J. Eisenbise, M.S., LPC
Susquehanna Publishing, 2010
More About Janet J. Eisenbise, M.S., LPC
Janet Eisenbise helps people make the changes they desire in building the life of their dreams. She is an expert in coaching adults to envision their dreams, to make an effective plan to implement the necessary steps to achieving those dreams, and to follow through to success.