Why you should try to be grateful

Why you should try to be grateful

A guest post from Lianne O'Brian Weaver (of Beam Holistic in the UK)

As a teacher and therapist, I constantly work with people who find themselves in very unhappy situations. When I talk to them, I pay a lot of attention not just to what they are saying, but also to how they are saying it.

Our internal and external dialogue creates the life we live, if we tell ourselves we are feeling unwell, we will certainly notice all the things that creak and ache in our bodies. If we tell ourselves we dislike our lives, we will also notice all those things that corroborate this story.

I am passionate about getting people to minimise the use of two overused words and in doing so, I have noticed huge positive changes in people who have done so, myself included.

Should  – Most unhappy people I have ever met have a terrible case of the ‘shoulds’. They spend most of their time with a nagging inner voice telling them what they should and should not be doing. From ‘I should be thinner’ to ‘I should be richer’ the ‘should’ word serves to make us feel inadequate failures. When we say it externally, ‘I should phone my mum’ or ‘I should be better at making presentations’ we are publically berating ourselves.

Apart from making us feel as if we are not coming up to scratch, it also serves to really annoy our inner teenager. Remember when you were 14 and your parents told you that you ‘should be studying’? All it did was make us dig our heels in and refuse to pick up a book.

Try  – As the brilliant Yoda is quoted as saying ‘Do or do not, there is no try’. Try is such a wishy washy word, when we say we will ‘try’ to achieve something it is as if we are already priming ourselves to not do it, a weak security blanket in case we fail. ‘Try’ results in a total lack of commitment to whatever you are saying you will do.

Live with real commitment to everything you are doing and eliminate ‘trying’.

Eliminating these words will have a powerful effect on your own happiness and self-acceptance but the best way to supercharge it is to remove these two words and replace them with one word:

Gratitude – Embracing gratitude in your life is the quickest way of moving from a negative mindset to a happy one. When you are able to show gratitude for things you already have in your life, you start to see everything differently.

I encourage clients to keep a gratitude journal every day for 7 days, they must right three things in their journal every night that they are specifically grateful for that day, now this is sometimes where people fall as their gratitude’s are not specific enough, so instead of:

“I am grateful for my children”

Change it to…

“I am so grateful that my children were both full of fun and energy today when I took them to the park”

Practicing gratitude causes miracle mind shifts, for about the first three or four days, you write in your journal every night thinking retrospectively about your day. Then on around day four, something amazing happens, as you begin to go through your day you notice all of the things you have to be grateful about there and then … ‘easy commute to work’, ‘beautiful flowers’, ‘lovely blue sky’ etc

In practicing gratitude, we can literally train our brain very quickly to see all the good we already have in our lives and that is when miracles can happen!

“I am grateful that should and try are no longer part of my daily vocabulary”

Have you got any other words that you feel hold you back or proper you forward? Do you keep a gratitude journal? 

Find out more about Lianne's work HERE