How to Transform Your Life in a Moment

The secret of an attitude from gratitude.

It’s Thanksgiving week and for a lot of people, well, it’s going to suck. (I know. There I go with the inspirational small talk again.)

We’ve just never, in most of our own personal histories, lived in such a time as this. I’m pretty certain the Depression was way worse. Probably the black plague too. Okay, so maybe we don’t have it that bad. But for a lot of people, these are difficult times.

When I am in that dark, worrisome place and begin to freak out a little, I consciously force myself to stop in my tracks and begin to thank God and His universe for every single thing I can think of at that moment.

I unlock the magic of gratitude in my life and immediately I am transformed.

It makes me think about Manny the praying mantis from the Pixar movie, A Bug’s Life. “TRANSFORMATION!” Literally, every time I use the word, I say it this way in my head.

My favorite writer Melody Beattie describes gratitude this way. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” 

It’s difficult at best to change our focus to the positive things when the negative in our lives are right in front of our face screaming at us like the drill Sargeant from Full Metal Jacket. How do you focus on anything but that?

That’s why you have to take positivity and shoot it in the face of negativity. (Such a violent metaphor!) Choosing positivity first doesn’t come naturally for most of us. The glass is always half empty to me until I make myself see that it’s half-full. (Only to be reminded by my genius son that technically the glass is always full since air has mass. Smartass.)

Have you ever gotten upset over something seemingly small then as the day progresses you begin to notice absolutely every little thing in your life that also sucks? That’s what you want to do, but, in reverse. Noticing the good and being grateful for it is powerful. You begin to notice good everywhere once you force yourself to see it in the first place.

Choosing gratitude isn’t always the easy choice, just the necessary one.

This doesn’t mean that your problem isn’t valid or that yes, even though other people have it worse, what you are dealing with is your reality and it’s hurting you. You’re upset.

You let go anyway and move into a space of gratitude. That can be difficult because it involves a certain amount of trust. You can trust that you will find a way to work out your issues and that you will be provided the strength to do it. Even if it’s a big issue.

In bad times, I thank God for the crap I’m going through. Every single time I’ve gone through something difficult, I’ve learned a lesson. I may not know what that lesson is at the moment, but I can be grateful for the fact that I’m learning it and trust that I will become a stronger person on the other side.

When we enter the space of gratitude, it has profound mental effects on us as well. Gratitude helps us with our self-esteem and can lead us to feelings of happiness.

It’s Science! Gratitude can lower our blood pressure, decrease stress, and lead to feelings of happiness in our lives.

Gratitude decreases stress, anxiety, and depression and can lower your blood pressure. (If only it could get rid of the cellulite.) It helps decrease the nasty cocktail of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline pumping through your veins.

“But I don’t feel very grateful,” you say! You act “as if” you are grateful as much as you can on a daily basis. Even when you don’t feel very grateful. I think that’s actually the best time to do I because those are the moments that seem to be the most transformative. When you approach every situation in your life with grateful positivity, it retrains your brain to begin seeing the good first, not the bad stuff all up in your face.

As you welcome family and friends to your surroundings this week, even the ones that make you crazy, take a moment to practice gratitude for them. (Even if they eat all your favorite deviled eggs.)

Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful you are here.

Just Donlyn

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