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32: Why Gratitude is the Ultimate Form of Self-Care

How many of us have sat around a dinner table while everyone went around and said what they were grateful for? 🙋‍♀️

This Thanksgiving tradition may be the cause of many eye rolls, but we think it’s a great reminder of how important gratitude is. In this week’s episode of Breathe In, Breathe Out, Krystal muses about the power of gratitude and how it’s actually one of the best ways to practice self-care.

Transcription:

Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor. Take a slow deep breath in and now breathe out. Congratulations. You just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal and Jakosky and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out: a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.

Welcome back to Breathe In, Breathe Out. I’m Krystal Jakosky. Last week, we took a moment to connect with where we’re at and our surroundings, and have a moment of connected presence this week. I want to talk a little bit about gratitude. We’re coming up on Thanksgiving. It’s a very traditional time for us to pause and be thankful and grateful. And I remember as a kid rolling my eyes every now and then once we would go around the table and we’d have to list what we were grateful for. And I remember the whole, everyone was like, “I want to be the first one to say, I’m grateful for my family, or I want to say something that’s going to make people go well, that’s a really cool thing.” And it was more stressful for me to try to find something cool than just sitting with myself and being able to say in this moment, this is what I’m grateful for.  

For whatever reason, I had a hard time just being in that moment and saying, “this is what I’m really grateful for.” Now as an adult, it’s a lot easier for me and I could sit here and I could give you a list upon list and go on for a long time. We could have a huge long conversation about gratitude and what I’m grateful for and why. And, and I really feel strongly about the why I’m super grateful for this because of ABC and that in and of itself. I’m grateful for that mind shift in it. And yet I want to dig into gratitude for all of us. 

I want to talk a little bit about the changes that gratitude can bring about definition of gratitude is the quality of being thankful or readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness. The quality of being thankful. It’s a quality in the definition. It’s a quality of being thankful, and it is a readiness to show appreciation. As in, you are ready and prepared, you want to be appreciative and you want to return a kindness that was already given to you. 

Now you can look all over the internet and you are going to find a ridiculous amount of studies all over the internet. In fact, I was just reading an article in Psychology Today about gratitude and the myriad of benefits that gratitude brings about gratitude in itself. When you are grateful, the brain expresses dopamine and serotonin. And these two things are neuro-transmitters that are responsible for making us feel good. They are responsible for positive emotions, which means that quite literally in your brain, there is a positive chemical reaction. When you find a moment to be grateful, when you find the opportunity to express gratitude for something going on.  

Now, we’ve talked a lot about self care. That’s just been our, our rally cry for this year. And we’ve talked about how do you improve your state? How do you fill your cup? And if gratitude in and of itself causes a chemical reaction in your brain, that changes it into a more positive emotion, helping you feel good, then expressing gratitude in and of itself can be a form of self-care. It can be a gift. Some of my clients, we get together, we talk about what’s going on in life and, and life is hard. You don’t necessarily come to me because life is absolutely fabulous and everything is great. And you love where you’re at and you come to me because it’s time to change. It’s time to shift. And that change, that shift can be extremely difficult. It can be very overwhelming. And one of the things that I recommend my clients do is to keep a gratitude journal or when they are feeling upset and frustrated about a specific experience or issue or state of being or person that they take a moment to step back and find some gratitude, because that gratitude can shift you just up a little bit, and it lets you look at a situation in a more objective light. It can change it from this weighty, “I’m upset. I’m frustrated. I don’t like this anymore” to an “okay, I’m grateful for this. And now let’s look at something more.”

Now I want to caution you because I am not telling you to negate your emotions that can lead toxic positivity. It can say, “Hey, you have no right to be upset about that.” And that’s malarkey. That is not what I’m saying in any way, shape or form quite on the contrary. I really want you to acknowledge and say, “you know what, right now I am sad.” I really want you to validate the emotion and the feeling that you are having in this moment, whatever that emotion is an after you’ve acknowledged, “you know, this is really hard. And I’m going to sit in that for just a minute and allow myself to feel that, allow myself to express that.”

And if you need a journal, if you need a ride, if you need to get it out in some way, shape or form, talk about it with somebody. And then you can take a moment and say, “all right, I’ve acknowledged that that’s where it’s at. I’ve acknowledged that things are difficult. Now, what can I do to help myself get better?” And I tell you that using gratitude as that can completely change the outlook. And by changing your outlook, it can completely change the outcome. 

Gratitude. It’s a grateful attitude for what is there for what is happening for what you’ve been through and the opportunities that are being provided for you think about being on a putting green, you’re going putt putt golfing, and you hit the ball and it ends up three inches from the hole. Are you upset that it’s three inches from the hole or are you excited that you just happened to get it past all the other obstacles and it’s aimed in the right direction.  

It’s closer to where you want to be. Again, you can acknowledge that. You’re sad that you’re three inches and didn’t get a hole in one. And yet you can also be excited and happy that you made progress, that you succeeded and that you are closer to where you want to be in this moment in time, right here. Right now, when we have all experienced a couple of years of challenge and frustration, we’ve gone through all of this world upset. I don’t care who you are, what your beliefs are, what your thoughts are. We’ve all struggled a little bit. And in this moment, let’s acknowledge that this last while has been very difficult and frustrating and upsetting. And then let’s take this other moment to find gratitude for everything that we’ve been through. Everything that we’ve learned, let’s look at the opportunities that we’ve had and then let’s move forward from there.  

I promise you it’ll change. I promise you it’ll shift your heart a little. It will help you feel lighter. It will help you find a little bit more joy and things will be a little bit easier as you move forward, less of a drudgery and more of a, yeah, I can totally do this. I hope you have a fabulous week. I hope you find joy. I hope you validate your feelings a little bit and then find something to be grateful for. And in the meantime, give yourself a little hug until next week here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. 

I hope this moment of self-care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m Krystal Jakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube and I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.

 

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.

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