There must be times when you feel trapped, tied down, and stuck. Dead end.
And that's where it helps to look for things that make you feel grateful.
It's not religious bullshit. There is science behind it. It helps you stop the negative and sterile spiral of “I'm f*cked up”, “I don't know how to get out of this”… and all that castrating self-talk that only helps to dig a bigger hole.
And that's what needs to be interrupted, to put a stick in gear...
1. Why gratitude matters
Feeling grateful is almost a magic trick: it changes your energy vibration, changes your mental and biological state.
And it's with a mind free of fog, that you can have clarity: to find solutions, to “fly” - if you feel like you're at a dead end.
And the solutions of the next step to give, appear in the mind: almost as if by magic.
Might not solve it all: but puts one step forward, toward a solution.
Perhaps, for this reason, implementing habits of self-gratitude or gratitude with others: is an added value.
It helps to get out of anxiety spirals, to interrupt cycles of discouragement.
And it has nothing to do with religion. These are mental states that help you to be more resilient, creative in solutions, and constructive in things that really have value to you.
And the word “spirit” has a negative connotation, for no reason, because they are matters of the soul:
- if you feel love for people or animals, you are a spiritual being;
- if you feel joy or sadness, you are a spiritual being;
- if you have heavy emotions or feelings of contentment, you are a spiritual being.
Is this good or bad? It's human.
It all depends on where you put your energy, with more intention, and which emotions you focus your attention on.
You will sow what you breed.
And you can breed the habit of feeling grateful.
2. Having the habit of feeling grateful: what do you gain with that?
Let's start with "Thanksgiving".
It is not a rooted culture in Portugal or the rest of Europe. It's very American culture and yes, it has some religious tone. It was born in the form of autumn festivals to celebrate good agricultural harvests.
And “good harvests” here are key. Focusing on what's good.
What we have already sown of good and we reaped.
And although it was easier to import Halloween from American culture, when compared to Thanksgiving, at first glance, it seems that the habit of feeling grateful is much more useful for the quality of our lives.
Why? Because there is actually science behind it.
When we get used to feeling grateful for what is good in life: we are actually training our bodies to feel good.
Who doesn't like to feel good?
# The science behind gratitude
The science behind any emotion you feel, high vibration or low vibration, is that it causes your body to produce certain chemicals that activate genes, which produce specific proteins.
And the body works like elevator buttons: you press the sixth floor, and it goes to the sixth floor.
You have low-vibration emotions, they produce proteins that will reinforce that command and you enter an automatic cycle of low.
You have high emotions and the genes are expressed in such a way as to produce proteins that will reinforce that same state, in an automatic cycle of feeling good.
So if you get into the habit of feeling grateful, you will have corresponding emotions and those emotions will “push buttons” on genes that are signaled to produce proteins that reinforce that state.
There is science behind gratitude. And the secret is in the feeling.
And we all like to feel good; right?
Ultimately: what do you get out of feeling gratitude? You gain health.
The reverse is also valid.
3. Feeling grateful when you are exposed to hostile environments
To make it clear: we are not talking about stressful situations, where your physical body may be at stake.
We are talking about psychologically hostile environments, which also cause stress.
That's when it's most challenging to be grateful, but it's also when you need it most, to search in the trunk of memories of sensations: the feeling of gratitude.
There are always those people whose attitude is “How dare you be happy, how dare you feel good?”
And they will do everything to feel accompanied in their spiritual misery: they will try to bring you down. In this context, "down" does not mean having your feet on the ground: it means staying below the ground, buried, without the ability to breathe or think clearly. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Metaphorically speaking, of course. To drag you into their cycles of personal hell: so they won’t feel alone. Misery loves company.
And you are not obliged to keep them company. Not even if you're terribly empathetic. And if you are, it is imperative that you put yourself first: your self-love, your mental sanity, and the preservation of your spirit. Limits. Boundaries.
4. How to install the habit of feeling grateful?
You can be grateful for the smell of breakfast, for the small talk that brought joy, for the Pali Gap that Jimi Hendrix wrote just for you...
Whatever it is: as long as it makes you feel good in your body. Feeling (the sensation in the body) is the key word that must go along side by side with gratitude.
Practice and install the habit of feeling grateful.
You close your eyes, to focus your energy on yourself, without visual distractions, take a deep breath and think of something that you feel grateful for, that makes you feel happy to be alive.
It can be a person, a situation, from the past, the present, or an imagined future. As long as it makes you feel happy.
And do it in the morning, force it into a habit: just like brushing your teeth, or taking a shower.
Or do it at night, before going to sleep. But force the habit. Directly. Everyday.
And if it's easier for you to install it, if you write: do it in writing.
# Your best kept secret
Sounds like a trivial?
But it is not.
Because there will be those occasions when you will feel sad, discouraged, and anxious: and gratitude will be your weapon. You will almost instinctively use it. Because you already have the habit ingrained.
And that's how you help yourself: from the spiral of thoughts, which turn into emotions, which turn into protein production, which turn into new gene expressions, which turn into new emotions, which turn into actions and transform your day or your life. In hell, or personal paradise. You get to choose.
And you have that power. Your best-kept secret.
Regardless of what others may try to bring you: you can change the course of things the instant you decide. At the distance of a feeling. At the distance of thought-provoking. At a distance of a heartfelt thank you.
It's you who holds the key.
And when you do that: you'll realize that the feeling of happiness depends on you. External contexts are a bonus. But you don’t need to depend on or put your state of happiness in the hands of others.
Sharing good moments with someone is great. It’s a blessing. It’s bliss.
Being able to generate happiness on your own: it's a superpower.
Getting Better Every Day
Hey! I'm Eunice Veloso and you'll find more about me on my About Page
Antoine Lavoisier, 1789
The Law of the Conservation of Mass