Sometimes I lay awake at night, trying my best to fall asleep but I just can’t. My mind is racing a MILLION miles a minute with all the tasks I need to accomplish the next day, this week, oh and in my life as well.
But as fast as the thoughts of whether or not I paid the sewer bill rush in my head, they quickly disappear and begin to leave room for the more worrisome anxiety provoked thoughts.
“Gosh, I keep getting head pains. I know it’s a tumor. I’m probably going to die.”
“What if someone breaks into our house and kidnaps my kids, I better go check the locks and alarms for the 57th time.”
“My blog and my instagram are just so talentless compared to others. I just need to give up on this, I’m not good enough.”
“Damn I am just SO SICK of being this fat. I hate it…..”
I don’t think I need to go on.
These are all thoughts I’ve had racing though my mind a mile a minute before I TRY and go to bed. But the task becomes nearly impossible because I’m not allowing myself to rest, to be calm, and to just be OK with things.
The other night this happened. It was almost midnight and I knew the next morning would be brutal as I tried to get my kids off to school, so I pleaded in prayer that my mind would stop and I would just relax. As I did, this thought popped in my head to count the things I was grateful for.
This is stupid, I told myself.
This won’t work. I know I’m grateful for things, why do I need go over them in my mind.
But I did.
I begin to list everything from major blessings to smaller ones. I can walk, my kids can walk. I can talk, and my family all has the ability to verbally express their feelings. I can wake up and get something to eat, usually whatever I want. I have three kids who are alive, healthy, smart, talented. All sleeping in a beautiful room with a bed and toys. They are free from want. I have a husband laying next to me. He’s breathing. I can hold him and cuddle him at this very moment.
It was just that simple.
As I listed the countless things in my head, my eyes began to water up. I couldn’t believe all that I had in my life. All that I had looked over because I was allowing fear of the unknown, fear of things that would never happen, and fear of the things I can’t control to block my vision.
I know this might seem crazy, or might seem like it’s too simple to work. But part of anxiety and fear is that it clouds your way of thinking.
If we thought with gratitude rather than fear, we wouldn’t be anxious.
If there is one thing I have learned in this whole experience, it’s that our minds are more powerful than we give them credit for. I once read a quote years ago that stuck with me that said, ‘That which we focus on, grows.’ It really hit home with me, because imagine all the things we focus on during the day. All the times we doubt and fear…We are allowing those things to grow within us. We are giving them the water, the air, the sun, the food, and everything else that it needs to survive. Imagine if we focused on gratitude. Imagine if we looked at ourselves with love.
I can tell you right now that the amazing things we could do on this earth, in our lives, and the effect we could have would be tremendous if we just changed the way we viewed things.
Replace doubt and fear with gratitude.