Gratitude, the Ultimate Fear Fighting Tool

girl enjoying the freedom in a...
girl enjoying the freedom in a...

After almost a week of Sandy's devastation on the northeast (our office is based in downtown Manhattan), between the rampant emails, texts and calls exchanged among family, friends, and colleagues lucky enough to have power -- and knowing we are far from recovery in so many districts -- it is a focus on gratitude that can help us get through this time of distress and disorientation.

When we're shaken and propelled into survival mode, and have basic necessities taken away from us (shelter, heat, electricity, food, Internet/phones), our minds and temperaments need the most taming.

Hunkered down at a friend's uptown apartment last week, I developed a neurotic mental list of things to worry about: the safety of my family/friends/team, when power would be restored, falling behind on business, not getting enough work done in my downtime (my fellow A-types can relate!), puffiness in my face from consuming too much wine for 4-days straight (more can relate?), our dog Connor's anxious behavior that had him hiding in the bathtub... the list continues.

Then I realized I wasn't practicing the best remedy for all stress and fears -- and that is the practice of gratitude. I actually keep a gratitude journal where I list at least three things I am thankful for before I go to bed. Hearing the concerns of our readers and friends, I thought I'd share a list of 'gratitudes' that have helped me weather many storms:

  • When we fear bad things will happen: "I am grateful for my inner ability to handle anything that comes my way"
  • When bad things are happening: "I am grateful for the wisdom that this obstacle will teach me"
  • When we feel really behind on work and tasks: "I am grateful for and celebrate the tremendous amount I HAVE done"
  • When we worry about financial security: "I am grateful for having enough of what I need right now"
  • When we are frustrated by tedious tasks: "I am grateful to be healthy and well enough to do such chores"
  • When we experience loss of something: "I am grateful for where I am abundant which is x, x, & x."

Gratitude is the ultimate fear and worry-fighting tool that is always available to us if we remember to access it.