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The Practice of Immediate Gratitude

A big part of my work is helping people deal with fear, anxiety and limiting beliefs.  One of the main things that keep us from living happier is the mongers in our heads.  Last week, I talked about meeting your mongers and the practice of building awareness around our inner voices like Scared Sally and Perfect Patty.

Today I want to talk about an easy practice you can implement to help shift the mongers in your life.

Here is a common scenario in my world (because I am usually running 5-10 minutes late):

I am in the car headed to meet my friend, Erin. I notice I am late (even though I swore I wouldn’t be THIS time).  I call Erin to tell her I am running a little behind.   Then the mongers kick in:  “You are ALWAYS late, why can’t you just get your stuff together, what is your problem that you can’t get out the door on time, you are pathetic”. “Erin is going to think you are so irresponsible, she is stuck at the restaurant alone, it is so inconsiderate…” And before I know it I am dreading the meeting and feeling miserable. Belittling Betty has struck again.

When you notice Belittling Betty or any other fear monger, the first thing to do is change the message.  Flip the chorus of negativity.  Our mongers tend to put us into a trance. They lull us into submission and so simply being aware of them doesn’t shift it.   We may be aware she is talking but because the message is so emotionally charged it is hard to change the message she is sending.  To shift the monger, we have to break the trance.  One way to break the trance is to practice Immediate Gratitude.

When I hear Belittling Betty talking I immediately, I shift my mind to naming things out loud I am grateful for, in the moment.  Things I am aware of through my senses.  Things I can feel, see, touch and taste.  Things in the present moment and I say them out loud to myself.

I am grateful right now for:

  • the warmth of my car
  • the sunshine on my face
  • my breath
  • being able to drive.

The key to this exercise is to name things that are happening right then, in the moment.   Not just a list of all the things in your life you are grateful for but items you can actually experience, in the moment.

This Immediate Gratitude pulls me out of the trance that Belittling Betty and allows me to come back into the present moment.  It is then from a place of gratitude I can kindly ask Belittling Betty to move on.  I can kindly remind myself that Erin will be fine for a few minutes.  I can kindly share that it is better to arrive in one piece and happy then in an accident or miserable.

By breaking the trance, we can begin to lessen the power of the mongers and start to Live Happier.

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