Turn That Frown Upside Down with the Power of Gratitude
Let me ask you something. Can you feel negative when your heart is full of gratitude? Does life feel heavier or lighter when you focus on what you are grateful for? I’m all about Gratitude. I believe it is one of the most powerful emotions that we have and that it can actually change our lives completely. If we understand this power we can use it to turn that frown upside down any day of the week! What a wonderful tool for shifting our mood and our perspective.
Shift Your Mood Instantly
We’ve all had someone say to us ‘turn that frown upside down’ but that would require snapping out of it, wouldn’t it? That would mean flipping our mood instantly which is near impossible. Right? Well, this is where gratitude comes in. The feeling of gratitude is so powerful that it can shift our mood and mindset in an instant. But for it to be effective we need to really feel into the emotion. This isn’t about running through a list like a robot, this is about being transported to a place, time or experience that had such a positive impact on you that you are flooded with happy thoughts and gratitude.
Step out from under that Rain Cloud
A bad ‘mood’ is tough to shake. It hangs like a black cloud. Even worse, a part of us doesn’t want to shake it off. We want to wallow for a bit. And, to a point that’s not even a bad thing because we may need to work through something. So, by all means, give yourself time. Shut yourself away for a while if that’s what you need. But, make sure you are drawing a clear line between what is healthy and what isn’t. We too easily get comfortable in the misery.
This doesn’t apply to depression, of course, because that is more than just a funk or a bad mood. Depression requires the help of a professional. What I’m talking about is when we have the power to choose a different path, approach or mindset and instead we tend to wallow. If we want to turn that frown upside down we have to be able to spot where we have been getting comfortable with our own negative mindset.
Opportunities to Shift
Training our brains to spot the negative funk and make a shift is the first step. Unfortunately we often don’t realize we’re in a bad headspace because it is such a normal place to be. It becomes our comfort zone. When we stop and look at our thought patterns we can begin to ease our way out of the negative self-talk and negative approach to life in general.
Start to watch your thoughts on a daily basis. Are the leaning towards the negative? If you see you are always expecting the worst or putting yourself down, now is the chance to make a change. Start looking for the good in your life. Start practising gratitude for everything that is going right. Take your mind off the negatives and focus on the blessings! Here are some ordinary life experiences that we can be grateful for. Those things that CAN turn that frown upside down if we take the time to notice them.
Grateful for Human Connections
It’s not uncommon to resist the comfort of a hug when we’re in a bad place. We put up a wall, hold on to our misery. But, opening yourself up to the warmth and love of a hug can literally turn that frown upside down. We are designed to connect with each other and in this strange world we live in we are losing sight of the value of connections. The next time you feel down please remember not to push someone away when they are trying to offer you comfort. A warm hug can shift your energy instantly.
Nature has the ability to shift your mood like nothing else. When you’re in a funk, take yourself outside! Look around you. Be grateful for the blessings that abound in the natural world. The beauty of the animal kingdom, the colours in the sky, the air that we breathe and the rain that brings new life! Paying attention to our blessings brings everything into sharp focus and opens our hearts to gratitude. And nature has yet to let me down! I feel instantly calmer and more grateful for the life I’ve been given when I am in nature. Never underestimate this natural high at our fingertips.
‘Go To’ Playlist
I have a ‘Happy Place’ playlist on my phone and IT WORKS! Honestly, knowing that you have something available to you at the click of a button that can shift your mood is so comforting. Create a list, spend a couple of hours thinking about all the songs that really make you smile, and bring that happy place playlist to life. This isn’t directly linked to gratitude, but I sure am grateful for my list because I know how powerful it is in helping to shift my mood. Give it a try! I guarantee it will be a powerful tool in your toolbox for those nasty, negative days.
To the Tribe!
Who are your tribe? The people that, no matter what, are there for you. To pick you up, give you a cuddle and make a silly joke to help you get through. Turn to them. Call them, show up at their door, Facetime them. These are the people that are right at the top of your gratitude list and deserve that spot. Remember why they have made it into that spot. What they have done for you, what they represent in your life. The strong bonds you share through time and space. Let your heart be filled with gratitude for these amazing people. And smile! I know you want to when you see their loving faces in your mind.
Grateful for Entertainment
I’m usually the one that will direct you away from TV and Social Media, but when you have been walking around with a frown for too long you could definitely use some mindless entertainment. In fact, as long as you don’t get stuck to the couch, it could be exactly what you need.
Find something REALLY funny to watch. I emphasize really because, I don’t know about you, but I find it isn’t that easy to find good comedy anymore. Go old school if you can’t find anything. Get creative. Look for a comedy show, watch epic fails on Youtube, whatever makes your belly jiggle and your cheeks hurt. Release that pent up energy!
I am a big believer in journaling of any kind. If you’ve read any of my blogs before you will know you won’t have to go far before you find something about the value behind getting your thoughts and feelings down onto paper. If you’re interested in checking some of them out, head over and read Using a Gratitude Journal to Change your Mindset
For those days when you are struggling to find the silver lining in life using a gratitude journal is a powerful way to go. I recommend you read the blog mentioned above as I go into it much more, but there is something so magical about the process of delving deeper into the why behind your gratitude. I always remind myself that positive and negative thoughts cannot hold the same space in your head and this practice will chase away the negative thoughts and turn that frown upside down before you’ve gotten to the bottom of the page! Try it and let me know in the comments how you found the exercise.
If you enjoyed this blog, head over and check out this one: An Attitude of Gratitude can Change your Life
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