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Gratitude: A Gift to Ourselves

For so many people all over the world, these are stressful times, exacerbated by isolation and social and traditional media. There are worries about catching a serious disease, or others getting sick, negative financial situations, whether present or possible, and political and social unrest.

It’s natural to focus on threating things. The media tends to feature negative events. Scary, explosive, violent, fast things get attention. Peaceful, calm, slow things aren’t as exciting and don’t sell much advertising.

As previously discussed in this column, the conscious mind can only pay attention to one thing at a time. What you focus on is what you experience. Focusing on negative things results in negative feelings. Reliving painful memories can feel just as painful as the original event. Scary possibilities that might happen, but haven’t, can feel just as scary as if they are happening right now.

A quick, effective technique is to bring the mind to this moment by focusing on something happening in the moment. Noticing aspects of breathing, listening to music, experiencing nature, paying attention to anything happening now causes worries about the future and negative memories to stop, at least temporarily.

There are longer-term techniques to improve our outlook and mindset.

Knowing about negative things and then focusing on making positive change (in ourselves and the world) brings positive feelings, including empowerment and hope. Serving others changes the focus from the inner world to the exterior world.

November is Thanksgiving month. It turns out that being grateful by focusing on what there is to be thankful for increases the presence of those things in our minds. Remembering the positive crowds out the negative. Instead of concentrating on what has been lost or gone wrong, being mindful of what has been gained and gone right and being grateful can make a huge change in the way we feel about life.

“Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” – Louie Schwartzberg

Living in Arizona, being in nature can be grounding, centering and a cause for gratitude.

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

Gratitude can be for this present moment.

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

An attitude of gratitude is life changing. FBN

By Don Berlyn

Don Berlyn is a practicing therapist and owner of Flagstaff Hypnotherapy and Coaching. For more information on hypnotherapy, coaching or anything related to using the power of your mind, reach him at 928-699-8263 or flaghypno@gmail.com. Consultations are always free! Sessions conducted in person, by phone and online. For more information, visit FlagstaffHypnotherapy.com.

 

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