Recently I was giving a Q&A talk and was asked this question: How do you shift from fear, doubt or worry?
My response? The fastest way to shift our state, regardless of what it is, is through GRATITUDE.
Now, that may seem challenging in the situation we find ourselves. Everyone is isolating, and life is certainly not what we’ve known as “normal”. Yet this is not necessarily gratitude for the situation we find ourselves in, though there may be much to be grateful for here if we choose to look.
Some struggle with gratitude. I know 1 man who was looking at red in his bank account and was struggling – he didn’t feel grateful to be out of work, or not having enough money to pay for his expenses. Yet, once he started to really practice feeling grateful for what he DID have, his attitude changed, and some ideas came to him which enabled him to shift his circumstance. We can always find simple things to be grateful for – the sunrise, running water, shelter… at the very least.
As far as I’m aware, there is no switch to turn off fear, doubt and worry. Fear is part of the current make-up of the body. Its part of the sympathetic nervous system – the fight/flight response mechanism. Its also part of the physics of the finite or physical world in which we find ourselves.
Fear, in the form of doubt, worry and the like, are reactions that are patterned or conditioned in each one of us, and the patterns are based in family, culture, religion, school and our own experiences.
Yet what we focus on expands. As neuroscientists say: “neurons that fire together, wire together”. In other words, the more we have thoughts of something, the more thoughts of that we have. And if we add feeling to it, the thoughts (neurons) more quickly and deeply “wire together”, producing trains of thoughts. From what I’ve experienced, fear thoughts are like a down escalator – one with no bottom.
The GOOD NEWS is that we CAN decrease the level of these thoughts and how loud they are to us.
There are a number of tools or practical ways to achieve this. I mentioned one in my previous blog post. Here’s another way:
- Become mindful or aware when you are having these thoughts. You might be surprised at just how prevalent they are! We can change or shift only the thoughts of which we are conscious.
- Then, immediately choose to shift into thinking of something you are grateful for.
- And really allow yourself to feel and be in the gratitude. If you do, you will feel your state change and become more expansive.
Its simple, yet not easy. To change your state of mind takes focus and energy. Yet the rewards are well worth the effort!
So, what are you grateful for? What brings you joy?
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