If you have had a hypnotherapy session with me, you likely remember that we do three main things. We look over and at our past and face and process whatever is causing pain. We also spend some time looking at what we have accomplished and settle into that and invite our younger selves into those accomplishments, and finally, we start to imagine our future selves.
I have been exploring with my conscious brain the power to reflect and appreciate what I have created over this past year. It may be hard for some of us to look back at 2020 with a sense of gratitude. So many of the social media memes have beaten up 2020 to a pulp. But the beauty of understanding thought work, having a coach, and working through this stuff, helps me understand that I can think about 2020 in any way I wish. The year was a neutral circumstance. I have a long list of things that I am so grateful for this year and a list of heartbreaking and unsettling things. There is so much that I and all of you have engaged in and created. Even with all the incredible and emotional challenges of this year, life did not stop. Life is rolling forward.
Why is reflection so healthy? There are robust traditions in many cultures of “counting your blessings.” There is a Talmudic Jewish tradition of counting 100 blessings a day, and many faith traditions have similar practices of gratitude. Whether or not the assortment of faith leaders knew it is a path to emotional well being. Professors at several universities have studied how gratitude impacts our emotional life and how it influences our actions when we engage in appreciation. (There is a wonderful Podcast on this with Hidden Brain that I highly recommend )
Here are three ways that I found that gratitude creates emotional health:
- Reflection, and gratitude, if done correctly, provides the emotion of abundance. When you look at what you have created in your life, whether it is your house, your kids, your friends, your income, your health, and take ownership of having created these things, you develop the emotion of abundance. The magic of living in Abundance is that it fuels you to design and to give. It is a subtle thought shift, but be careful not to indulge in “I should be happier with all that I have in my life.” That thought is almost shaming and will not fuel you. The view, “I love what I have around me, and I would do it all over again.” is more like it.
- When you appreciate what you have, so will those around you. Being honest in your appreciation can be subtle too. For instance, I have been looking forward to having an empty next year, but this deprives me of enjoying the heck out of my kids each day. When I sit in loving them, they seem to appreciate Mom a bit more.
- Reflecting and absorbing the abundance of your life is the natural flow of energy. I have a beehive on my front porch, and the bees have hibernated for the winter, only to blossom and grow and feed on my garden in a few months. Another example is that the human heart has an active phase of systole where it pushes the blood out, and diastole, where it rests, stretches, literally recharges, and fills with blood again. I believe our brains need these moments of “diastole.”
If you are interested in learning more about hypnotherapy, life coaching, and seeing if it is something that you would enjoy and grow from, sign up for a no-pressure discovery call with Elaine. Click here to schedule a discovery call.