We seem to leave in a world that promotes fear:
- Fear about governments
- Fear about the economy
- Fear about job security
- Fear about the environment
- Fear about relationships
The list could be long. You can add your own personal and private fears to the list.
The problem is that when our brains detect fear, it goes into "fight, flight, or paralyzed" mode. The moment that happens, cortisol and adrenaline flood your brain and prevent your reasoning powers to be engaged. As a result, nothing positive or rational has the most remote possibility of taking place.
The antidote? Gratitude!
Gratitude? you might ask. How can I be grateful in the midst of fear? By focusing your attention to something positive, no matter how small:
- The ability to freely breathe. Have you stopped to think how difficult your life would be if you had to be constantly connected to oxygen?
- The freedom to express yourself both about what you like and what you don't like.
- The feel of your lover hand in your skin.
- The uninhibited laughter of your child.
- The hug of a friend.
Again your list could be long. To keep your brain out of being flooded with fear, you need to make gratitude a practice. It doesn't take much time. Take 3 minutes a day (or one minute three times a day) to make a pause, take a couple of deep diaphragmatic breaths, and bring to mind the image of something you can be grateful for. Then hold in your heart that feeling for 30 seconds. Repeat this consistently for 45 days straight and you would have developed the practice of gratitude. It doesn't work to practice gratitude only around Thanksgiving. It has to become a consistent practice.
You will find yourself smiling more, connecting better to others, and in better health. You will be more successful as a leader. The better part? Fear will not have such a hold on you anymore!
I challenge you today to practice gratitude, no matter the circumstances around you or in you. Let us know how it goes!