Gratitude For Stress Relief
3 Grateful Steps To Help Manage Stress
Does the holiday season ever stress you out? You can get really excited about this enchanting time of year. And then the warm fuzzy feeling comes to a screeching halt when you realize how much you have to do to release the magic. The responsibilities of the festivities may have you a little overwhelmed. How about that 3:00 am insomnia wake up call? Those are really aggravating.
As we enter into the Thanksgiving season in the USA we also notice not only is it a joyous time of year, it enters the highest season of stress. Stress is unavoidable. But left un-managed it can just run-amok through out your entire body, life and yes your spirit. So some stress relief gratitude therapy is in order. I know it has to be simple and not add to your busy agenda. Pleeease trust me on this. I've been doing this technique since around 1992.
It's kinda sad if we start feeling like we just have to get through this holiday. This puts us in survival mode and diminishes our holidays to a chore list. Ugh!!
The need to be in control of every detail of everything, even down to the way you think you should feel is not even possible. There are so many variables contributing to the outcome of the situations our holidays will incur.
Just think of all of the reminiscing going through our thought storage. Our memory triggers are excessive. The music, pumpkin flavored everything, scents of the season candles, decorations & lights.Whew!
Just think that something as simple as gratitude journaling as a form of meditation has been proven to lower stress hormones. Allow your gratitude practice to activate more positive and appreciative emotions. This type of therapy can reduce your cortisol levels by up to 23%. This reduction my dear friends has anti-aging properties along with an increase in your metabolism (which equals weight loss). Now isn't this fabulous news?
You can do this. You can calm that overwhelmed mind, sleep better and slow the aging process. Start a gratitude journal. It sounds overly simple but it helps you to create what is referred to as a frequency illusion. Good illusions. We could all use some good, positive illusions. Your brain begins to solve problems by looking for solutions first instead of doom.
So here are 3 steps to help get your started. And if you dare, there is a 31 Day Gratitude Challenge to sign up for. I created just for you!! Aaaand it's freeeee.
First go get yourself a gorgeous journal. They have them forever on sale at most bookstores. Then use your favorite pen or pencil. Have a seat in your favorite calm spot. If you don't have a calm spot it just might be time you created one.
Create a special time and place to write in your gratitude journal. Some highly sensitive, emphatic people write everyday to stay grounded and balanced. Some people write once a week and look forward to this time to spend on themselves.
It is easy to be grateful and full of appreciation when everything is going your way. The words of emotion flow easily out of your favorite pen.
When our lives are in transition or we are experiencing the struggle of losing a job. Or when natural disaster is destroying your community the feelings of gratitude may be a little difficult to resurrect from the turmoil of sadness. When our best friend is diagnosed with cancer.
Developing a practice is a preventative therapy to be your companion along with your breath during times of stress.
Developing a disciplined practice will help you maintain your faith. It will give you an inner sense of knowing that all will be well soon, maybe different, but well.
Stressful situations may cause us to use self sabotaging adjectives. You know the venom dripping words carried by flames. It's really bad when these are turned inward and directed at annihilating yourself. Well they don't exactly produce great karma when tossed about at others either.
While you are sitting with the breath begin to write I AM Grateful for and fill in the blank. Use your nice words, even if they feel a little sarcastic at a moment of imploding stress. Here are just a couple of examples
- I am grateful for the bright orange pumpkins of this fabulous season.
- I am grateful for my peaceful breaths that calm each lovely moment.
- I am grateful for happy family gatherings with so many intriguing personalities.
- I am grateful for being in a peaceful state of mind with beautiful thoughts.
Breathe In Gratitude
Follow your breath. What does that mean. Well it means sit still for just a moment and begin to pay attention to how you are breathing. without judgment. Meaning don't tell it what to do right now. Your body is speaking to you through your breath patterns. Sometimes your body just wants a little attention and your breath is the translator.
A few things to look for:
- Is your breath shallow? Are you taking in full breaths or do they stop at your collar bone, causing tension in the jaws
- Is there a stutter to your breath? Do you ever get so upset that your breath stutters and feels more like gasps?
- Is your breath smooth and even right now?
- Follow your breath in your mind's eye.
Your breath has the power to move gently through your body bringing powerful healing. The emotion of gratitude is carried through your body with each breath.
I would love to have you join my 31 DAY GRATITUDE CHALLENGE. It is an online course that you have immediate access to once joining.
A PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE HELPS:
- Chronic Pain
- And More...Join our 31 Day Challenge To Feel The Result
R. McCraty, B Barrios-Choplin, D. Rozman, M Atkinson & A.D. Watkins ( 1998). The impact of a new emotional self-management program on stress, emotions, heart rate variability, DHEA and cortisol. "Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science. 32 (2) 151-70
Emmons, R.A. McCullough, M.E. (2003) Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well being in daily life, "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84: 377-89"