Running late. Seasonal distractions. Time-starved. I don’t like these feelings,
but everywhere I go, there they are.
This morning I was buying chocolate Santas at a German gourmet bakery. And,
as usual, I was running late. Distracted. Way late in all that I needed
to do for my work and for the holiday.
As my stuff was being tallied, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a sack of pfeffernuesse.
I love those cookies, and out of my mouth popped the words, “don’t forget these.” I grabbed the sack and pushed them toward the clerk.
The man behind me in the line, who actually had chosen those lovely, packaged German cookies, was clearly taken aback. O.k., I was going to say that he nearly slapped my hand. But he was a little bit short with me. Chagrined, I escaped to my car, which, of course, appeared to be blocked by another car. Grrr
Self, I said, “Time to practice gratitude!” Prof. Emmons would have approved.
Since reading Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert A. Emmons, I have found that when I am in a place of overwhelm or frustration, I can deflect my negative emotions by thinking what I have to be grateful for.
Sounds kind of goofy, but it works. I felt grateful that the people behind the counter were very gracious when I grabbed the cookies.
So how about you–try it, o.k.? Are you feeling a bit harried? How might grateful emotions help you?
When you’re in the midst of a meltdown, it may be hard to even bring up something to be grateful for.
This may take a minute or two. If nothing immediately comes to mind, just stick with it. Start a list. Lists are good.
After you get one or two things (Good coffee this morning? Yummy doughnut? A sweet smile from someone you love?), more will come.
How about thinking about how things have been worse in your life? Are you glad that whatever that awful situation was, it is no more? Life is a tad better than at some previous time? Yeah! Gratitude!
By allowing myself to remember what I have to be grateful for, I can wheel myself around, right out of a cranky, crappy emotion. I have a choice. I have control here.
The added benefit—and this is important, so take note! — is that I can take the next step, keep going, continue with a task.
Here’s my challenge to you: If you’re writing and you feel like throwing your keyboard against the wall, take a deep breath, get up, and will yourself to feel grateful about something.
Please let me know if you take this challenge. How did it work?
Also, I have a great gift for you– go my website (www.nwcoaching.com) and sign up for my newsletter. I have something you can use!
Until next time,