Up to your neck in worry? Gratitude can take it all away.

Somewhere along the way, many of us got the idea that worrying would fend off future catastrophes, that if we took our eye off the ball and stopped worrying, something awful would happen. If we worried about our jobs, we wouldn’t be fired.  If we worried about our loved ones’ well being, they wouldn’t get sick.  Gratitude swiftly banishes the worry warts – and this for two reasons.  First, worry is always about the future whereas gratefulness is always in the present moment. Consider your list of worries:  could it be that they are about what might or might not happen?  Perhaps you’re worried about your boss’s reaction to your presentation tomorrow or about whether or not you will be able to afford sending your son to college. In either case, you are projecting yourself into the future and imagine something bad happening.  Thankfulness brings you back to the present moment, to all that is working perfectly in the here and now.  Gratitude also eliminates worry because it reminds us of the abundance of the universe.  Yes, it is possible that something bad might happen; but given all that we have received so far, chances are that we will continue to be supported on our journey through life, even in ways we would never have guessed or chosen for ourselves.

Gratefulness is a magical thing.  All one needs to do is use it and the world is suddenly transformed into a beautiful wonderland in which we are invited to play.  That’s because one of the incredible truths about gratitude is that it is impossible to feel both the positive emotion of thankfulness and at the same time a negative emotion such as anger, self-pity or worry.

So which would you rather pick up and nurture:  that lump of worry which makes your chest tighten and your breath shorten or the lightness of an attitude of gratitude for something – or some things – which are working in your life, such as your ability to hold a job, the car starting this morning or having slept well last night? 

The choice seems obvious to me.

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