Transforming relationship break ups and breakdowns into breakthroughs
The healing power of gratitude can transform your breakdown or break up. Discover how this simple transformational practice can lead to your breakthrough. Gratitude will transform your thoughts, your beliefs, your emotions and even your physical body in just a couple of minutes worth of effort a day.
This is one prescription that I recommend you should take twice daily.
Having an attitude of gratitude is simply about acknowledging yourself and others for contributing to life's rich tapestry.
It's easy to say thanks, but more uplifting to express deep emotional gratitude. You say "thanks" to the guy who bought you a beer, but you give thanks on a higher plane.
Being grateful or being thankful is also an of activating the healing power of gratitude. Energies that are focused outside you can be recovered and restored within you.
Fear, loss, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, are all energies sapping the life force away from you. Gratitude helps you pull it all back in for the energy to be transformed inside you.
Having an attitude of gratitude means you notice the finer things in life and witness them as beauty. It also means you embrace challenging things in life but witness them as lessons that promote your emotional intelligence.
For example, I was brought to my knees with anger and frustration at a situation in work. I always thought I was a resilient guy. I thought I could handle pretty much anything. But certain people can get under your skin, especially at work, and I let it happen. I let things build up. I couldn't bear the stress and the anxiety I faced every day any longer.
At first I was angry. Pretty much at everything and every one. Then my anger turned to frustration because at that point I was feeling totally run down. Completely flat. Then my frustration turned to fear. What would people think? Could I go back? How could I face this again?
The events forced me to take time out which allowed me to work on myself. Working one to one with a life coach, I began to uncover hidden shackles that had been holding me back. I uncovered feelings of guilt, shame, anger, and even compassion.
As soon as I hit compassion it was like a light being switched on. Everything changed, and that was when I was overcome with gratitude. I was able to smile again at the situation, even laugh at myself for not recognising the lesson. That is the healing power of gratitude.
Gratitude was the final piece of recognising the silver lining. Gratitude allowed me to transform a period of great adversity into a catalyst for my own personal growth.
Research reveals gratitude paves the way to several benefits, including:
I am not for one second claiming that is a new discovery. The importance of expressing gratitude has been written or spoken about since time began. For instance, you will see references to giving thanks throughout the Bible.
I am claiming that you will enhance your daily rituals with the inclusion of a gratitude based practice. Give thanks in all circumstances. Notice the beauty, or find the lessons and become grateful.
If you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your life and spend some time immersing yourself in the mindfulness of gratitude you will change your life. Period. Making gratitude a practice is the way out of fear. How can you be fearful if you are filled with gratitude? How can you worry about tomorrow when you are filled with gratitude for today?
There are loads of great ways to utilise the power of gratitude.
Many great note taking apps allow you create individual notebooks for specific purpose. Why not create a folder for your gratitude journal. IA Writer is a great writing app. I use IA writer on my computer and iPad. I love the blank canvas and simplicity of use. In fact I used IA Writer in the creation of every page on this website.
On the other hand you may, like me, prefer the experience of a leather bound journal. Grab your favourite pen and start writing. Of course, your gratitude journal doesn't have to be luxurious because the quality will always be on the inside.
Whatever method you prefer, I want you to feel inspired to pick up your journal and write in it. The attitude of gratitude will become a solid habit for the rest of your life.
What on earth does that mean?
Simply this, whenever you are practicing a behaviour that requires very little conscious thought you can direct your mind to think about things you are grateful for. It takes No Extra Time (N.E.T.) because you are already invested in the moment. You just use the same time to focus on gratitude and allow its power to infiltrate and influence your mind.
What do you do each day, even twice a day, without thinking much? Brushing your teeth takes roughly two to three minutes.
What do you currently think about while you brush? Use this N.E.T. activity to think about and focus upon three things to be grateful for. By the end of week one you will have created you first list of fifteen things to add to your gratitude journal.
Trust me this will transform the experience!
I heard an inspiring story of a guy who did this for a year. Everyday, he thought about one to three things he was grateful for about his wife. By the end of the year he had journaled everything and put it in a beautiful presentation box as a gift for her on their anniversary. The fact that he had acknowledged so much about her melted her heart and transformed what had been a bumpy road.
Start you practice by expressing gratitude for your body. Be grateful for these hands, these eyes, these ears, this mouth, this nose. Become grateful for the sensations you are able to experience.
Expand your mind to express gratitude for the functions of your organs, your heart, your liver, your lungs.
Turn your attention to gratitude for your environment. Become grateful for being in this space in this place, with these things around you.
Then expand your mind to express gratitude for your consciousness. Express gratitude for having the experience of life in moments passed, and in the present moment in this time, in this dimension.
When you really think about it, there is so much you could be grateful for. There is so much to acknowledge and tune in to. Turn your focus to gratitude and watch your fear and anxiety melt away.
As you go through your day make a conscious effort to express thanks for the other people who come in to your life.
I recall working for a department head who would invite me to discuss a particular work issue. He would always give me time and space to express my thoughts, ideas, or concerns. Every time he would end the conversation with words along the lines of "Thank you Tony, that was really helpful."
It never actually meant that he would take any action. It never even meant he agreed with any of the points raised. But the fact that he had listened and acknowledged me was hugely empowering.
Try it for yourself today. Thank everybody for something, even if it isn't exactly as you would have it.
Building a gratitude practice or habit is worth every ounce of effort. I encourage my life coaching clients to build some form of practice into their daily routine, at least for the duration of the coaching period. Most carry on, but occasionally I d get asked "What if there is nothing to be grateful for?"
And when you think about it, if you are going through a relationship breakdown or a break up you might think it is a totally valid question.
The truth is there is always something to be grateful for if you truly ask for it. Seek and ye shall find. As a man thinketh so is he. If you think you don't feel grateful in the moment ask yourself what could you be grateful for.
When you start out your gratitude practice keep it simple. The habit will come and then you can challenge yourself but for the first few days just bring to mind three things you are grateful for.
Try this for example:
Imagine you had a lump. You get to visit with your doctor. You thank God they were able to see you at short notice, because it can be so difficult getting an appointment these days. Normally you are waiting for months.
Your doctor checks you over and agrees that the lump is a concern and should be checked out so refers you to a dermatologist. Aren't you now grateful you made the decision to visit the doctor this day? Relieved you didn't leave it any longer. After all, it's probably nothing, but the uncertainty is unnerving.
You visit with the dermatologist a week later. At least you don't have to wait that long to be seen. The dermatologist wants to take a biopsy because they aren't sure. The good news is they have all the tools to take it there and then.
Phew. Thats a relief you don't have to wait for an appointment. And what is even more incredible is the dermatologist can book you back in a week later to review the results. Talk about a quick service. Isn't that something you can be grateful for?
A week later you go back for your results. It's benign. You give thanks to God with all your heart that it isn't cancer. In that moment, in that heart beat, everything you need to know about the power of gratitude is revealed to you.
I always wish my wife's news was as good, but I am eternally grateful for the time we get to spend together. Every day in every way is precious. Never forget that. Never forget to be grateful.
Have you experienced being grateful for a loved one waking after surgery at the hospital?
Have you ever experienced gratitude for the safe return of a child after they wandered temporarily from your view?
Have you witnessed the deep joy and relief of the return of a soldier from the front line?
Maybe just being grateful for someone's voice over the telephone, or maybe grateful that something didn't happen that you thought might.
Perhaps, you are grateful that you have a job, a house, a family, or your health.
I want to share with you the most powerful questions to enhance your gratitude practice.
Allow each question to elicit all of the experience and all of the emotion you can attribute to the experience.
What am I most grateful about in my life right now?
What is it about that makes me feel grateful?
How does that make me feel?
Express with passion. Replay the experience in your minds eye and relive each moment as it occurs to you. Notice the sensations in your body as you become deeply grateful. Notice where gratitude starts and moves within you. Notice how it shifts your mind and opens doors to new possibilities.
Take a moment to complete the life audit. You will see area's of your life where you have greater success. That is a place to start with your power of gratitude practice.
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