“Gratitude is the best stress reliever.”
I wrote this down in my iPhone notes yesterday at 2:27 PM as an article idea.
On my daily walk to the gym, I couldn’t help but be happy.
I was headed to the gym at 2:27 PM in a city thousands of miles from the one I grew up in. I had no schedule for the day. I was working out at 2:30 in the afternoon for no other reason besides that was the time I wanted to go.
On the walk there I had someone yell out “Tom!!” to me because they must’ve noticed me from my Facebook Page.
Sixty seconds before this huge revelation I saw a job posting for a “cook” position somewhere nearby. I thought about how awful that job must be.
Hot, weird hours, scrubbing dishes, sweat dripping, not enough pay.. these are all the words that come to mind when I think about the word “cook.”
I know because I had this job myself for a while.
I thought about how tough it used to be to get called in to work a certain set of hours on certain days. Your work owns you — doesn’t matter if you’re a cook or a manager somewhere.
I just sort of froze on the pavement and immediately thanked my lucky stars I didn’t have to be a cook, and right then and there I felt this incredible weight slip off my shoulders.
I practically skipped the rest of the way to the gym.
I’ll say it again.. Gratitude is the best stress-reliever.
Imagine The Worst Thing That Could Ever Happen To You
I don’t mean to get morbid here, but trust me for a second.
Imagine the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Gary Vaynerchuk has said before that he likes to, on occasion, imagine his entire family getting killed in a car crash.
This suggestion is both so morbid and so far out of left field that you might not know if I’m being serious or not.
Imagine it. Imagine getting the news after the fact and having to deal with that pain for years.
Good. That’s all you need to do. Come back to reality now.
Your family is alive and well. You can call your brother or sister now just to catch up. If you’re my age, your parents are probably still around. Give them a call, too. Be happy that you can do these things so easily, because many people can’t.
This is a 2-minute gratitude exercise that will obliterate any worry you have.
Gratitude Is Seeing What’s Already In Front Of You
One of my friendtors Brian Pennie says daily gratitude exercises have made a tremendous impact on him.
As of four weeks ago, I had no idea this was even a thing. I’m no expert on this, but from my understanding doing a daily gratitude exercise is as easy as taking 5-10 minutes daily to think about everything you’re thankful for.
To be honest it doesn’t sound all that life-changing.
But it is because I can see just how happy Brian Pennie is. He’s one of the most energetic and charismatic guys I know. Every time I talk to him it seems like he just got the best news of his life 3 minutes earlier.
I think gratitude is what makes him happy. That among many other things.
I’ve gotten so used to my condo, living in Manila, my day-to-day flexibility, that I’ve taken it for granted. I experienced a “high” when I first attained these things, but ever since it’s like they’ve faded into the background.
Gratitude is the equivalent of doing a “send object to front” for all you Photoshop people out there.
It brings it out of the fuzzy background and into that magical 2 inch area in front of your eyeballs. You have to notice it then.
Humans are so good at forgetting how much we have. And we’re so bad at recognizing how good we are that.
Stress Isn’t Always A Workload Problem — It’s A Perspective Problem
I can see clearly now that the last one and a half years of my life have been fun, but racked with stress also.
I’ve done so many fun things. I see that now. I only wish I had enjoyed those fun things a little bit more. I wasn’t sitting in a dark room 24/7 thinking about how horrible life was, but if I was a bit more like my friend Brian Pennie, I would’ve enjoyed myself more.
And that’s what we all want, right?
I am convinced that mindset can not be overlooked. Just yesterday I felt like a new man in all of 60 seconds because of a change in mindset.
Now I’m sorta talking like Ben Hardy. See what you’ve turned me into, Brian?
In all seriousness, I believe if you focus more on mindset and gratitude, you’ll eliminate most of your stress almost immediately.
I hope you do.