One of the most prominent themes of our Managing Roadblocks to Wellbeing affirmation cards is gratitude.
During 2020, the time of Covid, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen a lot of posts on your social media feed on this topic.
On my personal page, I said that a lot of people are tending to lose perspective...or at least, that's the observation I'm seeing. This is because I’ve noticed so much complaining over our lockdown situation, and some of these complainers are the very people posting about gratitude.
I can imagine this to either:
Cause confusion in people, or;
Cause people to give up their critical thinking and just follow.
As you can imagine...
Causing confusion in an already stressful environment is adding fuel to that stress.
Picture this – someone like me, a yoga teacher, saying to be grateful that we’re helping to stop the spread of this virus in one hand, then complaining that I can’t go out and teach in a studio in the other. Which is it, right?
The second point – it is very human for us to rely on our leaders to tell us what to do. Leaders can be in any capacity – from nation leaders to, again, our yoga teachers – someone who is in an actual or perceived position of authority to tell us what to do.
This psychology is important because...
Going back to the Covid lock-down example, if I as a yoga teacher say “be grateful for this and that” yet show more passion and consistency in protesting against being held in lock-down, what do you think you’ll hear?
The stronger passion will bring out your own frustration because that’s a stronger emotion. To heck with thinking through it, right?! Strong, inflamed emotions can override reasonable thinking especially in stressful times.
How does this all relate to gratitude?
I invite you to actually feel grateful. Don’t just say it. Don’t just comment with a meme of your own on someone’s post. Don’t delegate it to a tick box. Don’t think of something just to add as a comment.
Gratitude is not just "content" to post on your social media.
Don’t just spout it. When strong emotions rise up, stop and think. If you’re feeling frustrated, allow it to pass thru you. Then anchor your sense to something that brings you joy, and be thankful for that.
BE THANKFUL. That is gratitude.
Living with a sense of gratitude allows us the head space to balance our emotions, think rationally and ground us.
4 easy ways to practice GRATITUDE
Be thankful for the small, simple stuff.
Remember to nourish the kid in you - it's OK to play, however you define that!
Connect with what or who lights you up. That can be:
a hobby - draw, craft, do macrame!
an expression - sing, dance, do yoga!
a chat with friends and family!
Do whatever your passion leads you!
4. When you see a post or a blog about gratitude (even this one!) stop and assimilate the information. See which aspect of your life it can relate to but don't force it.