Life can be hectic, overwhelming, burdensome, unfair, and cruel. If it's not one thing it's another. Once one task is completed there is always something else that needs to be done count on it. Life is a ride. Some of us don't feel that way and I can hold space for that way of thinking. People like to make plans and attempt to execute those plans with as much poise possible. Some wait to achieve goals until the right signs are presented.
Personally I believe stress is derived from moving out of the flow in your life. The flow of some one's life can be in any pattern and can change at will. That meeting Friday at 4 PM that has been causing anxiety all week may as well be moved up. Or prepare for it and just let go of that energy until 3:30 PM Friday afternoon? As human beings we are prone to rumination or focusing on our distress.
A woman can go to the gym have an excellent 30 minute HIIT workout 5 days that week instead of the 3 days she had the prior week. When she weighs herself she becomes discouraged because she hasn't lost weight and she feels like she just spent the last week killing herself for nothing. It would be more encouraging to focus on the fact that she had the stamina to add 2 extra days of exercise to her regimen. It would be more encouraging to focus on the amount of self-care and boundaries that were created to achieve a 5 day work out.
But she isn't going to do that because right now she is not operating in a mindset of gratitude.
Gratitude or thankfulness is the antidote to stress. We cannot predict the future anymore than we can change the past. However being present and in the moment aids in the practice of reducing stress. Think about it. Once something has caused an emotional reaction, our human minds go a mile a minute in a negative direction. We will think ourselves into an anxiety attack until we have some how gotten so deep into of negativity we start complaining about our mother.
What if in the middle of that circumstance we pause and take a beat to interrupt that negative mindset? Try this right now: List 5-10 things you are grateful for in your life. After those items are listed complete an "I am." statement utilizing 3 words of positivity. Before each phrase relax and allow oxygen to fill the lungs and take a slow exhale of 11 seconds.
It's that simple. In fact, practicing this above exercise will help meditation will come to you easier.
Do something like this as many times as you can remember throughout the day. Gratitude is something all of us tend to fall short in. Even the happiest person could utilize more gratitude. Being thankful doesn't have to always apply the the big picture either. We can be even more present when we a grateful in the middle of a work out. When I am about to hit a negative rep in a weight I have not lifted before, I tell myself I only want to complete one repetition. When I push for 2 and I achieve it I am all the more grateful for my strength. I do a little dance for myself. It's all apart of the process. If I couldn't complete the repetition I am happy that I worked to my max strength with the weight previous and even more grateful I have a goal to set,
Gratitude is the key to motivation. If we aren't taking time to enjoy the journey we are only going to stress about the out come. and in this we will perpetuate poor outcomes as that is what we focus on.
Gandhi said it best.
"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny."