Getting stuck in your thinking can clutter up your whole world and it takes a toll on everything. I felt this way a few years ago, well and truly stuck. I wondered why I felt less energy and enthusiasm for the things I used to enjoy. Why was I not going out with friends as much? It just seemed easier to stay at home and putter, escape online, or just veg out.
I felt I needed to shake myself out of those doldrums and I tried. But it just too much effort to get out of my own way. I wanted to try meditation, but I couldn’t seem to clear my mind. I tried a number of different approaches, but it wasn’t working. I thought, I can’t even do that properly, what is wrong with me? My thoughts always seemed to return to past patterns of worry, what ifs, and worse-case scenarios.
To try to shake myself out of it, I attended a number of inspirational speakers and retreats that year which were wonderful while I was there, but I couldn’t figure out how to get that positive and forward-thinking mindset to last. Where was the peace I was so desperately seeking?
I realize now that it was my rigid thinking that was keeping me stuck. It wasn’t until I opened myself up and took a chance on a really fresh idea that things started to change for me. It was so fresh I’d never heard of it before! It just popped in my head: send a thank you a day. And I did.
What a difference it has made! Almost immediately, I started feeling a bit more positive each morning. I didn’t dwell on what was going wrong or could go wrong. Instead, I focused on what was going right. Who was helping me at the hardware store to find the right item to fix something at home? Who was kind and let me in front of them in the line-up at the DMV because I was running so late? What nice thing had a friend done for me that I suddenly became aware of and fully grateful for?
I began to become present for all these little things because I was looking for someone to thank the next morning and it felt truly incredible. Was this the mindfulness that had been eluding me my whole life? Was this new more positive daily mindset truly sustainable? How come I could suddenly be more flexible and less rigid in my thinking than ever before?
It was so illuminating that I was finally living the life I aspired to when I attended those world-class inspirational speakers and events. It wasn’t because I was following someone else’s complicated master plan, but instead, all it took was a simple morning shift, a few minutes of gratitude, a pretty card, and that simply changed everything.
I basically trained my mind to continue to see my exact same world but interpret it in a new way. I began to see both good and bad circumstances in a new light. Each thing that happened to me on my daily routines was there for a reason. It was thrilling to know that I had control of my mindset and my life instead of it controlling me. I could go with the flow and be flexible regardless of what would happen and I embraced it.
Now almost four years later I still spread thanks every day and revel in the power of my mind to deliver to me whatever I need for that day: more time, more happiness, answers to my problems, more prosperity, and yes, even more peace.
What could you do today to break out of your own rigid thinking and become less stuck? How can the power of gratitude make the difference for you? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences below and thank you for spreading thanks in your corner of the world.
Elena Anguita is a change agent, speaker, and author of Spread Thanks! Create Miracles Through The Power of Ink who supports education and passionately believes in the transformative power of gratitude. You can connect with Elena on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SpreadThanks.com.
Image courtesy of Brannon Naito.