We’ve all been there. We’ve all woken up “on the wrong side of the bed,” gotten extremely pissed off when someone cut in front of us in line, or while waiting at a stoplight. There are a million things each day that can make us angry. But what happens when we allow those little, or not so little, things to take up precious time and space in our lives and our minds?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all woken up “on the wrong side of the bed,” gotten extremely pissed off when someone cut in front of us in line, or while waiting at a stoplight. There are a million things each day that can make us angry. But what happens when we allow those little, or not so little, things to take up precious time and space in our lives and our minds? Well, thoughts become things, folks. So, if you focus on all the icky things, you’re going to come up with nothing but more icky things. I have a better idea. In fact, my idea is backed by science and guaranteed to increase your wellbeing (and even reduce your risk of heart failure). Seriously, it’s true! Check out this article from Harvard Medical School!
What’s the big idea?
If you want to feel better, be happier and be more successful than you ever thought possible, develop a consistent gratitude practice! Yep, that’s right. Developing a practice that regularly invites gratitude into your life helps you focus on the gifts and blessings that constantly surround you. It crowds out the negative thoughts and keeps positivity in the forefront of your mind.
Our brains cannot hold both negative and positive thoughts at once. While life will always be messy there’s a lot of joy to be found even among the ups and downs. When we feel joyous, everything we touch is better.
Let’s play a game. Take a moment and list out something that you consider to be an epic failure in your life or perhaps something that was extremely painful. Now ask yourself, what goodness came from those things? Sit with that until you can list at least 5 positive from those negative experiences.
I’ll play with along you. After a decade of marriage and four kids, I came out (yes, of the closet). Eventually, that led to divorce – – because staying married to the wrong gender isn’t good for anyone, but boy did it suck! A couple of short years after I closed the luxury wedding planning business that I’d owned for nearly 20 years. Those were two of the most difficult and painful experiences of my life. It was hard, really hard! But on the other side of that pain was … me. That’s right, I was on the other side. The real me. The authentic, take the world by storm, take no bullshit ME! I’ve since built a thriving coaching practice, speak on international stages, became a published author, and I produce a super kick-ass podcast. I’m crushing this life thing – – finally.
There was no accident in stumbling upon gratitude. I learned about it and put hard work into making it a daily practice. It’s now so ingrained in me that my natural response is to turn something negative into a positive on a dime. It wasn’t always like that, but I’m sure glad it is now!
I invite you to join me in making gratitude a regular part of your daily life. Here are a few ways to do it:
Start a gratitude journal. This can be a blank book or page in your computer or you can use something like my book, Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus which provides unique daily prompts to help you connect with gratitude.
When things feel stressful: stop, take two deep breaths, and then list 10 things that you can see or feel at that exact moment to be grateful for (e.g. the sunshine, a comfy office chair, a working computer, wifi, a song on the radio, your amazing brain and its ability to re-focus thoughts…The list goes on and on… if you’re looking!
Draw something! Some folks are better at connecting with gratitude when they color or draw how they are feeling. But remember to keep it positive
Share daily gratitude around your dinner table with friends or loved ones. Write a note of thanks or send a gift to someone from your past that impacted your life. Express thanks and gratitude in the moment, as you are experiencing it (e.g. flash a big smile and say “thanks so much” to the person checking you out at McDonald’s!)
If you decide to embrace a gratitude mindset, I promise you’ll begin to see results almost instantly. Your body will feel the difference. Expect to feel more calm, in control, peaceful, and able to move through time and space more freely. Allowing yourself to see the gifts that already exist leaves space for even more blessings to be uncovered. Gratitude is like a boomerang, throw it out and watch it come back.
Thanks for sitting in this moment with me. I’m extremely grateful you took the time! And I’d love to hear about your new gratitude practice.
Reach out and share it with me at [email protected].
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and coach with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment.
A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries.
Heather is a single mom of four (all girls!) who left a decade long marriage and came out personally and professionally (yes, of the closet). Her specialty is in helping people push through fear and embrace bravery. She’s written a book and journal on the life-changing powers of Gratitude and she’s a fierce social justice warrior. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.