I have learned from personal experience that you cannot be in fear & gratitude at the same time. The two are energetically opposed to each other.
I started a daily gratitude practice back in 2015. I was in the middle of a major transition in my life and things were HARD. Fear was a constant companion and I often felt like I was drowning.
Developing a gratitude practice didn’t change my circumstances but it did shift my perspective. Fear didn’t go away but practicing gratitude has become an important tool for helping me to manage my fears.
Here are 5 ways that I have learned, first hand, how gratitude helps overcome fear.
Gratitude keeps you hopeful
One of the side effects that has come from consistently practicing gratitude, is it has kept me hopeful. Hope can be a hard thing to hold on to especially when it feels like everything is going wrong.
When things are not going well, it is all too easy for despair to settle in. Gratitude helps keep that despair from taking root in your heart.
Gratitude makes room for hope even in the midst of difficult things because it helps shift your focus. What you focus on grows; a gratitude practice focuses you on the positive, which opens you up to more hope.
Gratitude quiets fear’s story
Fear ALWAYS shows up with a story. It might be a story about the terrible things that might happen if you move forward. Or it might be a story about what people are going to think about it. Fear is always making up a worst-case scenario about your circumstances.
Gratitude helps quiet that story because it causes you to look at what IS instead of what might be. It keeps you in the present while fear is almost always future based.
Gratitude keeps you grounded
Being grounded means you are checked into what is happening around you. You are fully present to what is happening right now, not obsessed with the past or the future.
When you’re in fear, it is very easy to feel like your thoughts & emotions are all over the place. Gratitude creates a place for all those feelings to come together and land inside you. It allows you to feel centered and balanced again instead of feeling out of control.
Gratitude opens you up
When I am in fear I notice that I don’t want to be around other people. I would much rather stay tucked away in my own little shell rather than connect with others. When fear shows up and I choose to give into the fear I shut down.
In contrast, when I’m actively expressing gratitude, I feel myself open up to life more. I am more trusting that things will work out in my favor, even the difficult things in life. Gratitude pulls me out of my self-imposed internal prison and I experience life in more meaningful ways.
Gratitude eases stress
One of the physiological responses to fear is elevated heart and respiratory rates. This response is triggered in your body whether the fear is real (i.e. your life is in danger) or false (based on a story you’re telling yourself).
Practicing gratitude helps ease that stress response because it anchors you. I have had countless experiences where the simple act of expressing gratitude has pulled me out of that elevated state.
It doesn’t make sense and seems too simple but gratitude is a natural stress reliever.
Make it a practice
Choosing gratitude over fear is ultimately a choice. You already know what it’s like to give into your fear. Why not experience what it feels like to overcome those fears?
Developing a gratitude practice takes intentionality; it takes…well, practice. Throughout the month of November, I’m hosting a 21-Day Gratitude Challenge to help get you in the habit of consistently expressing gratitude.
Join me and spend November choosing hope over despair, thankfulness over fear. Choose to not let your fear win anymore, sign-up for this FREE challenge and give your fear the boot.
Here’s to you embracing gratitude, releasing fear, and rising into your greatness!
From my heart to yours,
P.S: The challenge kicks off on November 1. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. What might shift for you after spending 21 days focusing on gratitude. Click here to sign-up now.