Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gratitude Day 19: Why Worry?

Today is the 19th day of 2011. The year in which I try to incorporate gratitude into my daily life by finding one moment every day for which I am grateful. I just picked up the February issue of Oprah Magazine and immediately stopped on an article by Martha Beck "Yours for the Asking" that explores the benefit of asking questions to change your life. Question #3 on Martha's list is "Why Worry?" A simple enough question and yet one that can be overwhelmingly powerful and effective. Here is what Martha advises when answering this question:

These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive actions: it's just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works!

Besides the fact that I want to use "scuttles" more frequently in every day conversation, this could not be a more appropriate piece of advice to stumble upon, especially for someone who is making a concerted effort to "find gratitude" every day. I actually put this piece of advice to work and it really is effective! Any time a worry would pop into my head, I would immediately switch gears and think of something that I am grateful for (my niece, my family, my books, my cozy home) and the worry was gone. Yes, I had distracted myself, but I had distracted myself with something beautifully profound. It really does work! Try it!

I'm grateful that I can find inspiration in the advice of others and have moments of pure enlightenment just by reading an article in a magazine. The fact that we can learn and grow and become better versions of ourselves just by expanding our minds is certainly something to instill gratitude.

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