Thanksgiving is a day Americans stop to celebrate all that we’re thankful for - our country and it’s autonomy, our national peace and security, our families, our health, our careers, and whatever else is specific to each person. November is a season of thankfulness. But I, like most people I know, like to focus on thankfulness year round. Cultivating a thankful heart daily is the remedy for most of life’s ailments.
I am convinced that most cases, not all, but MOST cases of depression and anxiety are byproducts of our inability to stay focused on what we are grateful for. When you’re in a state of gratitude, I’m talking sheer gratitude, you are incapable of feeling any negative emotion.
When you are in a state of thankfulness, you become a magnet for more blessings and great things to come your way. It’s the Law of Attraction, baby! Here’s a Fun Fact regarding gratitude and marriage: research shows that a relationship’s longevity can be predicted based on how much each spouse appreciates the other.
Thankfulness is feeling and expressing appreciation for what you have instead of focusing on what you want, need, or believe you are doing without. The benefits of living in a state of Thanksgiving are endless.
Gratitude affects your emotions - you’re more relaxed and resilient, you experience more positive emotions, are happier, and more optimistic.
It affects your mindset - you handle stress well because it rolls right off of you, you’ll become optimistic, resourceful, and your mind will function better and with ease.
Gratitude affects your personality - making you less self-centered, more self confident, and a more pleasant person to be around.
It affects your physical health, your relationships, your career performance, you sleep better, feel more alive, boots your immunity, and it improves literally every area of life. I want to focus on the effects of gratitude on marriage for just a minute.
When you are in a state of Thanksgiving, you’ll see your spouse differently. You’ll appreciate your spouse more, will be happy to let go of the little things that usually annoy you, you’ll reach a depth of connection you’ve never known, trust will deepen, you’ll begin to have more fun together and laugh more, you’ll be playful together, work on goals together, be each other’s biggest support, and your passion for each other (and for life overall) will soar.
How to Put Yourself in a State of Thanksgiving
You may be wondering HOW to put yourself in a constant state of thanksgiving. To cultivate a life of gratitude I could recommend several common and simple things like:
Compliment others - Celebrate you wins, both big an small - Vow not to complain, gossip, or criticize yourself or others - Ask yourself what you can learn and how you can grow from painful situations - Volunteer. These are all great things that will definitely add value to your life and to the lives of others…
But what I really want to recommend are two practices that you may or may not have heard of. Both of these have created massive change within me and in everyone I know who has adopted these in their daily routine. The first is called Priming Meditation and the other is Affirmations. I’ll explain both:
I learned about the power of gratitude from Tony Robbins. He hosts live events called Unleash the Power Within and it’s there that he teaches gratitude in depth. Tony developed a meditation called Priming that you can find on his website and on YouTube. Priming is a meditative exercise that allows you to focus on three things you are grateful for and 3 goals you want to accomplish during the day. If you do this meditation daily, you’ll begin to experience more energy, more creativity, more focus, you’ll handle daily stress with ease, and find yourself in a more positive state of mind. Priming is how I start my every day. I also recommend Priming to every one of my clients and have it built into my marriage program called Marriage Mastery. That’s how much I love Priming. It takes a total of 10-12 minutes - that it - but it packs a powerful punch!
The second practice I recommend to help you live in a state of Thanksgiving is the daily use of Affirmations. Affirmations are sentences you read out loud first thing in the morning and every night just before you go to sleep. These sentences help you develop empowering beliefs - some of which you can center around gratitude. Affirmations are Affirming Statements that are used as a tool to create massive change within your mindset and you’ll begin to see results in a matter of a few days. I have a list of affirmations I say everyday and it’s made a powerful impact in my life. When you read affirmations out loud, be sure to feel them in your heart. Feel the love, the joy, and appreciation, whatever positive emotion fits best with the statement you’re reading is what you want to feel.
The reason you want to read these out loud twice daily is because reading them in the morning helps set the tone for your day and it draws into your consciousness the goals you’re achieving. Read them aloud every night before sleep because… Whatever the brain takes in in the 45 minutes before you fall asleep - the subconscious replays all of that over and over all night long while you sleep - and this programs your mind. So, the information you feed your mind through reading, television, music, conversations you have, emotions you experience… your subconscious uses all of that to program your mind while you sleep. If you have a fight with your spouse, experience negative emotions, watch something scary on television - like learning about war or natural disasters in different parts of the world, THIS is what your brain programs your mind with while you sleep - it’s all driven deep into your subconscious - and that fosters anxiety, a constant state of fight or flight, and leads to poor sleep, daily fatigue and depression. Allow the last 45 mins of your day to be filled with positivity, meditation and prayer, soothing music, beautiful and positive emotions, and positive affirmations.
Using affirmations is the fastest way to rewire or retrain your brain away from negativity, depression and anxiety, bad habits and addictions, and channels you towards a state of constant gratitude, joy, and healthy habits. Sound too good to be true? Try it for two weeks and see for yourself.
One thing to realize…
You’ll never be truly happy until you appreciate the blessings you already have.
So for those of you wanting to be in a State of Thanksgiving, whether it’s to celebrate the holiday or if you’re wanting to live in Thanksgiving EVERY day, I encourage you to focus on the present moment, feel gratitude for the blessings you already have right now, allow your heart to feel joy and gratitude, and tell the people you are grateful for that you appreciate them - and tell them why. Allow you heart to be softened towards those you love. Let them feel your love and gratitude in your eyes as you look at them, in the smile you offer, and in embrace you give them. Live in a state of thanksgiving every day and your whole life will change for the good. Happy Thanksgiving.
Tony Robbins Priming Meditation: Priming Meditation
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Until next time, love one another!