I looked up from my phone and realised that 30 minutes have passed…
I only wanted to quickly check the news but before I knew it, I went down the rabbit hole and into a downward spiral of fear, anger and helplessness.
Wars around the world, natural disasters, discrimination and oppression, mass shootings, nuclear weapons, hunger, poverty, recession, scary diseases, people in power who shouldn’t be in power. The list goes on and on…
I closed my news app and sighed. I could feel the fear in my heart.
With all that is wrong with the world, it’s easy to get caught up in negativity.
I know I’m prone to it. Two years ago, when the pandemic was raging, the US presidential election were in full swing and I was highly pregnant and not at my best, I worked myself into a permanent state of anxiety. On some days, it was hard to get out of bed and I wasn’t recognising myself anymore.
I started practicing gratitude to counter-balance all that negativity that was coming at me. And it really helped.
Till today, this is the #1 reason why I practice gratitude.
Even though rationally I know that not everything is bad, if I don’t look consciously at what is good, the fear takes over, my mental health deteriorates, and my mood goes down. I know now that practising gratitude every single day creates a protective layer around me that keeps me safe and well.
It’s not about sticking head in the sand and pretending that all is well. It’s about not losing sight of all these beautiful moments in our lives and acts of kindness around us, even when things are far from perfect. Our brain is primed to look for negativity and danger, so if we let it run wild, it can take us dark places we would rather not be.
I shortened the time I allow myself to read the news to stay informed. I extended the time for giving thanks. It works: I don’t get so caught up in negativity anymore. And if I do – I know the antidote.
Next time you’re feeling down, take a few deep breaths and spent a few minutes giving thanks for all that is good in your life and around you. Don’t rush it, make sure to specify WHY you’re grateful for them and let your heart swell with gratitude. And if you give your best – you might even feel a little smile forming on your lips 😊
Easier said than done?
For extra guidance on how to make gratitude a part of your daily routine, sign up to the next round of My Gratitude Challenge. Every day I’ll share something interesting about gratitude, give you tips on how to practice it and I’ll give you your daily prompt to do so too. The Challenge lasts 28 days and starts on November 7. You can register between now and October 28. Find out more here: mygratitudechallenge.com.
Do you know anyone who worries a lot?
Forward them this blog post or suggest doing the Challenge together. Keep each other accountable as you learn to look at the bright side more often than at the dark side.
Breathe. Smile. Count your blessing and carry on.