Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A little bit of Gratitude

I struggle with stress. There, I've said it! Admitting the struggle was my first step, and was soon followed by me blaming all of the circumstances in my life that caused me to be stressed. Ironic how once you're stressed out, everything else finds a way to be stressful...even taking lunch breaks! Oh yes, the vicious cycle in which I have become a "frequent flier." Once I'd saved up enough frequent flier miles, I found I nearly had a free one-way ticket to not-so-Pleasant-ville. It was a scary realization, but I'm grateful to have made the discovery when I did. You see, my stress was not a result of my circumstances, but instead, my response to my circumstances, a mere symptom...not a sentence. I was choosing stress.

A week or so ago, my husband came home and told me that those who write down 3-5 things they're grateful for each night before going to bed, are less stressed. Woah! So, I've started a "Gratefulness Journal." So, for those of you who struggle with stress (or fear or worry...close cousins of stress), or even the absence of joy, I encourage you to take this simple step to write down the things you're grateful for every day (and don't do what I did and wait to start until you find a really cute journal...start now and write on a gum wrapper if you have to). Especially on the hardest days when we feel like there might be nothing to write down. Gratitude is not necessarily about those things that happen to us, but about our response to life.

I say this as if I've had some sort of victory. I haven't, and those who know me best are well aware of that. But I'm reaching, and stretching, and seeking...I'm determined to crush stress out of my life so that I may fully experience the joy that is under all these layers I've created. Yes, this is war!

If you'd like to join the fight, email me or leave a comment, and we can build each other up together.

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