The Importance of Gratitude with Shannon McNulty

Over the past couple of days, I’ve had time to reflect on myself and channel what I have been needing for a long time. Like many people, I struggle with anxiety of the future. I am constantly planning ahead and worrying about what comes next. It has taken a toll on me mentally and physically for as long as I can remember. While doing some soul searching over break, I’ve found that focusing on being gracious for simple moments, eases the anxiety. I wanted to share what I have learned through this practice and hopefully inspire others to find peace through gratitude as well.

 

 

It’s easy for us to get sucked in to negative energy caused by self-comparison, and jealousy. It’s easy to focus on the bad when we take advantage of the good. Our world faces challenges that oozes out negative energy. Negative energy draws our focus towards the bad. We can become so overwhelmed with the small portion of bad, that we don’t acknowledge all of the good. We constantly compare ourselves to those who seem better, prettier, wealthier and become stuck in a negative mind set full of self-pity, and doubt. Why? We don’t often take time to be grateful for who we are and the simple things that shape who we are becoming. I’ve learned to try and cope with this negativity, by learning to embrace the good within myself and the world. It takes patience and practice. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I promise the reward makes it all worthwhile.

 

Gratitude is a simple act, but one we often forget. It is easy to be gracious, yet we take advantage of this.  Our world is full of beauty and good, but it is only us who have the power to recognize this and be grateful of it. In order to turn towards a new path, we must channel gratitude in our lives. Lives get stressful, but they go by fast. We have to remind one another that life on this earth is not infinite and it’s important to be grateful for every minute we have. On my journey, I’ve learned to take time to be grateful. Recognize the simple things in your life that are good and bad. Be thankful for them. Practicing gratitude has helped me cope with anxiety of the future and regret of the past.

 

For example, when we are grateful for our past challenges, heartaches, and regret, we let go of the negative energy that fuels these thoughts. We have to thank the past for teaching us how to overcome the challenges we have faced. For the knowledge we have grown in through our heartaches and challenges, have taught us lessons for our future and present selves.

 

When we are grateful for our future we become at peace with the present. I constantly wonder “what if” in every situation I encounter. Learning to be present and grateful of the now, has helped me to relieve myself of anxiety of the future. Be thankful for what is now, what has happened and what is to come. It will help you release negativity that you may not have even realized you have within you.

 

A tip for easing into a gracious way of life is to recognize three things you are grateful for every day. Each morning and night, write them down, and reflect on them. It may seem silly, but you will feel much more love and peace within yourself if you do. These things can be as simple as a hot cup of tea when you’re sick, or a job promotion you have been working towards. Be grateful for it! Someone out there in the universe wanted it to happen for you and it did! Be grateful for yourself, the world, and the positive energy that embodies both. You are strong and worthy enough to feel love and gratitude. Allow yourself to value what makes you happy. Be grateful for the good, and the bad, for both teach us more about ourselves and direct us towards a life of peace and love.

 

With lots of love and a gracious heart,

-Shan

 

Article by Shannon McNulty