Does Gratitude Change Our Attitude?
First, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for your support over the past few weeks. It’s been a challenging time for our family and I truly appreciate the wonderful support from our gratitude tribe. My 7 year old daughter has been refusing to go to school and we’ve been unable to figure out why. Thankfully, we are starting to work with a professional therapist today.
Being a self-proclaimed gratitude guru, it seems as though it would be easy for me to deal with this situation using my gratitude strategies. It’s been much more difficult than anything I ever expected from our cross-country move. The good news is that gratitude can change our attitude and I used my own strategies to help me last week when things were super tough.
Does gratitude change our attitude?
One of the daily gratitude habits that I have been consistent with is my evening gratitude journal. And I’ll be frank – there have been nights over the past month where I have struggled to write in my journal. Some of you may remember that years ago I wrote a daily gratitude message that would remind us of something simple to be grateful for every day. Looking around at some the global crises, it would have been easy for me for write about being grateful for drinking water or living in a peaceful country. Yet there were nights where I was so frustrated with the situation that I really had to stop and think about what I was grateful for before I started to write.
No matter what, I didn’t go to sleep until I had written at least three things I was grateful for. And I noticed that it helped a little bit more every time, until I felt like I was back in the ‘groove’ of my daily gratitude. So my answer is yes, gratitude can change our attitude. I realize how critical this habit is. This is not the first time my family and I have been through difficult times. My first book, 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life, was written after a suffered a traumatic miscarriage at 15 weeks gestation. I used my gratitude practice to help me get through it and writing the book helped me to heal.
How can use you gratitude in your own life?
What I have found over the past decade of practicing gratitude and sharing it with others is that gratitude does work. It might not always be easy to be grateful. There will be times when we just don’t want to be grateful because we would rather be angry or frustrated or tired. What I’ve learned is to honour those feelings and allow myself to feel them – before I start my gratitude. Once I’ve felt the feelings, the sooner I can chose to shift into gratitude, the sooner the feelings will evaporate (at least for the time being).
There were times last week when I was really stuck in a negative emotion loop. I knew that I was and I knew that my attitude was toxic. Instead of continuing to expose my family to my negative energy, I chose to go out to the movies alone. After watching a movie and being swept into someone else’s drama (the movie was Molly’s Game), I had better perspective on my own situation and was able to head home to have a rational conversation with my husband.
Gratitude isn’t the solution, it’s an attitude
This is a real distinction for me. I have been trying to use my gratitude practice as a solution to our challenges. And that’s asking a lot. So instead, I’m focusing on my attitude and shifting to gratitude whenever possible. This allows me to remain in a positive vibration and more level-headed. When we are level-headed and thinking clearly, solutions are more likely to present themselves. If you are in the middle of a challenging situation, as our family is, I invite you to focus on cultivating an attitude of gratitude through daily gratitude journaling. My daughter also has a daily gratitude journal where she writes one thing she is grateful for every day. She’s also been struggling with it but we continue to do it almost every night.
Join me for 40 Days of Gratitude!
For the past two years, I have done a 40 Days of Gratitude Challenge. In 2016 it was to celebrate my 40th birthday. Last year we did the challenge for Lent. The idea is to post every day on social media a photo of a person or thing that we are grateful for, and use the hashtag #40daysofgratitude. This way we can all stay connected, and like each other’s’ posts or take a moment to share a comment. Lent starts on Valentine’s Day this year. To join us, all you have to do is start posting and using the hashtag. Miss a day? Not to worry, just start again the next day. This simple daily exercise will help us all to start with an attitude of gratitude every day!
We are so excited!! The 7th Edition of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox launches at the end of March!
Save the date for live events in Langley: Monday March 6th and Richmond: Saturday March 10th. For more info about the program, www.30daywholebodydetox.com – please bear with us as we are currently updating the program for 2018.