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How Being Grateful Helps You Overcome Fear

freedom and flow Jul 07, 2018

There have been many times throughout my life I've found myself paralyzed with fear. The longer I'm in it, the worse I feel; physically, mentally, emotionally.

I've experienced fear so intense that I've gone into a full blown panic attack, with vomitting and hysteria. Thankfully, that only happened once in my life. Once was enough for me to know I never wanted to feel that way again.

But fear comes in many forms and while it can be good and teach us if you allow it. Fear can also hold you back and impair your health. In fact, it can be so severe it can cause anxiety that leads to heart related complications (such as high blood pressure leading to heart attacks). For me, allowing my fears to consume me has led to asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

In light of those extreme physical symptoms, I've had to learn coping strategies to face my fears in a whole new way (especially as a single mom caring for 4 kiddos with no support). Through daily journaling and my nature walks, I've found a healthy way to shift my focus by expressing my gratitude which helps to bring a sense of peace to my mind and body.

I have learned from personal experience that you cannot be in fear & gratitude at the same time. The two are energetically opposed to each other. When you fall out of gratitude and step back into fear, you lose touch with your own power.

That's why it’s very important to realize the power of being grateful for what you DO have. Typically, it’s very easy to focus on what is going wrong instead of what is going right. Research shows, again and again, that people who practice gratitude on a daily basis are healthier, happier, and more effective.

So if you are struggling with shifting out of fear on a regular basis, throughout the day, intentionally look for things to be thankful for. I know this can 'feel' hard or forced at first, especially if your circumstances truly are incredibly hard or painful. You certainly don't have to be grateful for abuse you suffered at the hands of another human. Or for trauma you experienced. I don't wish those things on anyone.

I've  experienced both. I've been in those dark places and situations. It's ok to feel the gamut of feelings (grief, pain, loss, anger). Allow yourself to move through the pain. And even in difficult times, there is one thing I've learned -there really is always something to be thankful for.

And as hard as it is, even if it takes everything in me to muster a thought of gratitude - I know it will help me shift, find hope and calm my mind.

If you really want to get into the art (and success) of gratitude, create a list of five or ten things that you are grateful for and commit to that practice daily.

This is one reason I spend so much time in nature. I let the beauty, the serenity, the smells and sounds all permeate to my core so I can feel a deep sense of gratitude from the inside out.

When your heart is full, it's easy to be thankful. If you begin a daily practice now, it will be easier to sustain when times are rough.

So, your take-away here is to create one action towards incorporating more gratitude into your daily life.

Recently, I created a challenge to myself after practicing daily gratitude for a year and a half consistently, I wanted to up my game. I put it on my bucket list for 2018 to write 10 things daily for 1 month/ 30 days, that I was grateful for.

It really helped me start my days in a better frame of mind. I showed up happier and was kinder to my kids and more patient when life got stressful.

You can even start with just ONE thing. It could even be repeated. Don't overthink it just start.

If you need a prompt or guide, you can purchase a simple gratitude journal (like this one or this one) to write in. And be sure to go back at the end of the month and read what you wrote, as well as reflect on how it made you feel and act.

If you try any of the tips I shared in this post and found it helpful, leave me a comment below and let me know what came up for you. If you liked this post, please consider being a part of the tribe that is being built here. A good way to begin is to sign up for my newsletter.

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