Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (Well, everyone reading this in America. To all my international readers, “Happy Random Thursday America Takes Off Work In Order To Over Eat!”)
Today I want to talk about gratitude (tis the season, right?!). To me, gratitude is one of the easiest ways to shift your mindset from negative to positive. It’s also one of the most powerful. It can be really easy to fall into negative thinking about yourself and other people. Does any of this sound familiar? Gah! I’m going to be late! I’m a horrible, worthless person. And now there’s traffic?! Of course there’s traffic! There’s always traffic! I am a horrible, worthless person sitting in traffic! F- me! Oh! Hey! You just cut me off! F- you! Maybe just reading that made your pulse quicken. It made my heart beat a bit faster writing it, thinking back on times that those exact thoughts have gone through my mind. There has to be a better way!
Fortunately, there is. GRATITUDE! On that same car ride, I started thinking through things I was grateful for. I was on my way to an audition! How many thousands of actors would do anything to be in my shoes right now? I had a safe, reliable car (now with a full tank of gas, hence why I was running late) to get me to the audition. There was a car driving in front of me with a license plate “6PHD000” that I interpreted as a vanity plate meaning, “I have 6 worthless Ph.D.’s,” which, if it IS a vanity plate, is really clever and I would like to meet this person because they just made me laugh in a time of stress. Anyway, what I’m saying is that I could have very easily sat in my car complaining about everything and stressing myself out even more, but instead I chose to say, You know what? This is just how today is going, and there’s nothing I can do about it except do my best from this moment forward and trust that everything will be okay. And you know what? It was. Yes, I was a couple of minutes late for my audition, and it was fine. And instead of walking into the room pissed off about the traffic and the lack of parking and the idiot who cut me off, I walked in feeling grateful to be there and ready to do my work.
Now, I know this sounds really easy (and very Pollyanna of me) and on the surface it is. But it also takes a ton of practice! Believe me. I know. And I’m not saying don’t ever get upset about things in your life. You’re a human! You have human emotions for a reason and if you stuff them down it’ll be worse in the long run. My point is, if you’re going to be late regardless of what you do, do you want to arrive pissed off, hating yourself and the world, or do you want to arrive feeling calm and happy and ready to do your work? Gratitude can help you calm down so that you don’t ruin any more of your day with a negative attitude that turns off everyone around you.
So, the next time you feel yourself getting stressed out over something that you can’t control (traffic, people around you, your sweet, but dumb dog who always needs to pee at the worst possible time!) pause, take a breath, and think of something you’re grateful for. I’m guessing you’ll probably start to feel a bit more relaxed and that little change will have a positive effect on the rest of your day.
Thanks for reading The SchloerBLOG, guys! Leave me a comment, won't you? But, um, not the evil, troll-y kind, please? 😊