This is a strange and difficult moment for all of us. Waking up to more difficult news can be hard, to say the least. And no one needs to start the day by also starting the worry cycle. Gabby Bernstein’s recent blog post on creative possibilities has helped me re-frame my approach to these days. Want to read it? Here's the link!
Here at Gratitude we say “Lather happy, change the world.” And we mean it. Partly because we donate a bar of soap for each bar you purchase, so you are, in fact, changing the world for people who receive those gifts. But we also say “Lather happy, change the world” because we truly believe that happy people make a big difference in the lives of others. And research shows us that practicing gratitude is one of the ways you can be happier. Here’s what the folks at Harvard had to say:
“In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” You can read more about that here!
Is it possible to set aside the anxiety about all the things we can’t control right now and actually be grateful during this difficult time? There is no escaping the news about Covid 19, and the accompanying stock market gyrations, and the fact you may have to cancel your long-planned vacation, and that you are scheduled to take a business trip and you wonder who was in your seat before you, and suddenly the house is full of stressed out kids and adults … And, And, And. Our minds run away with what if’s.
And then you run to wash your hands or reach for the hand sanitizer. That’s positive and proactive. And let’s say for the purpose of discussion you are going to be washing your hands a lot more than usual. While you are doing that you could stand there and think about all the stressful reasons behind the hand washing and all the rest of it. OR, you could spend those 20 seconds having a more mindful moment. Use those 20 seconds to reframe your concerns and focus on the positive.“I am healthy and happy.” “I take good care of myself and my family.” “All is well.” “I am grateful for my good health and wellbeing.”
Another option for those 20 seconds is to wish others happiness. Chade-Meng Tan, a former Google engineer, now an author and philanthropist, suggests this practice. You can wish happiness for those you know and those you don't, those you love and those you struggle to love. You don't have to tell the person you are wishing for, just send them the positive energy. In sending the energy, you gain some positive energy yourself.
Truly, those 20 seconds you spend washing your hands can be what you make them. They can be moments to focus on the frenzy, or moments to focus on things you can be grateful for right now. You can use those 20 seconds to worry or use those 20 seconds to send positive energy to others. We think focusing on gratitude will make this all a bit easier.
What are you grateful for during this very strange and difficult moment? Please share - your gratitude is an inspiration for all of us!