Gratitude is healing for your mind
“Acknowledge the suffering, understand its source, what it means to not suffer and how move through the stages towards releasing yourself from suffering”
One of the more difficult shifts I’ve made is how to exercise gratitude in every aspect of my life, and I mean every aspect. I have a fascination with Radical Remission stories, they are inspiring on so many levels. However, it is common trait among these survivors that they are grateful for their illnesses. The fall in love with their illnesses. They look at their illnesses, not as a suffering, but an opportunity to grow and evolve, which they would not have had otherwise. Within every experience we have the choice of two different stories to tell; one of victimhood or one of a hero.
Covid 19, as an organism, is going to be wholly unaffected by your feelings towards it. It’s not really going to be offended if you hate it or curse it to high heaven. However, you will be greatly affected based on your attitude towards it.
Choosing fear and anger is only going to create stress in your body and you will slowly develop a variety of diseases from the cortisol and adrenaline flowing around your body. However, if you move your attitude to the positive ranges of emotions; love, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, etc. you will stop the stress responses and start producing endorphins and in fact start healing your body from old damages created by stress.
You cannot control the overall situation of the spread of Covid 19, you can only do your bits; keeping up your hygiene, social distancing or quarantining, supporting your community, etc. What you can control is your thoughts, words, reactions and actions. With this in mind, you can choose to show gratitude to Covid 19 for what it brings you, in terms of opportunities and lessons. Perhaps you have never felt you had time to take up a skill, e.g. playing an instrument, learning a language, meditating, etc. Now you have plenty of time to get started. You will learn more about yourself and your family if you open your heart to these opportunities. Basically, don’t fret what you cannot control, but dedicate yourself to what you can.
One commonality I keep coming up with when looking at the big lessons we are to be grateful to Covid 19 for is “connection”. This situation is going to allow us to connect with aspects of our lives and ourselves that we may have lost connection with, or perhaps never had a connection with. Some areas that immediately spring to mind are:
- Family and friends
Through our modern age we find ourselves more and more disconnected from other humans, we bury our heads in social media and fool ourselves to believe that we are connected. This forced separation will highlight our disconnectedness allowing us to wake up to it and prompt us to seek out those connections. Just look at all the examples of people singing and playing off their balconies, running exercise classes off of roof tops, etc. I have a client who “went” for a drink with friends via conferencing on WhatsApp. We will realise our need to a deeper connection with others.
Being removed from your work routine will allow space for you to think about your work and career. Perhaps you will rekindle your passion for it or perhaps realise that you are stuck in a dead end job. Either way, you will connect with your passion if you take some time to allow your truth to surface relating to your career. You might find this is a perfect time to start planning that business you always wanted (read my article on “Business Planning” if that’s the case).
Once all the noise and chatter in your min settles down, you will find space to discover things about yourself. We all have a tremendous amount of healing to do. We won’t allow ourselves to heal unless we move through those trauma when our minds have quieted down and given us space to heal. Reconnect with your mind, body and soul. Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and find that space you need to reconnect with yourself (Free Guided Meditations)
Time, apparently we will have loads of it. I personally don’t as my calling in life is to help people deal with stress and fear and that is plenty abound at the moment. However, this experience will give you an opportunity to reflect on time and connect with how you use your time. For most the work vs. life balance is going to be a big challenge to address as they see that there are imbalances. We have a perfect amount of time in our lives to accomplish all that we want/need to, it is our poor time balance that causes us to not have “enough” time.
My gratitude list:
- I am grateful for losing 90% of my income during this time, pushing me to move parts of my business online; a move I’ve resisted due to my insecurities.
- I am grateful for the loss of income allowing me to gain perspective on my relationship with money.
- I am grateful for my children being home schooled so that I get to spend more time with them and gain an insight in to how they wish to learn.
- I am grateful that humanity has an opportunity to wake up and heal, and that I am able to help people through this process.
- I am grateful for every day we remain in good health.
- I am grateful for having more time to meditate, exercise and do yoga.
- I am grateful for seeing so much love and compassion come out of people.
These are some of the things that spring to mind, but there are plenty more. What can you think of? A good exercise is to every day point out 10 things you are grateful for. It will help shift your attitude.
Stay safe, healthy, sane and happy!
Also published on Medium.