Do you often wake up in the morning and decide to have a great day, but then somehow you end up feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and ready to crawl back into bed? Are you feeling like you are simply existing through your days instead of living your life joyfully? Do you wonder if this is all there is to life, and is it really something you want? If this sounds like you, then rest assured that you are not alone. We all need to find ways on how to relieve stress – and being grateful is one of them.
Thousands of men and women very much like you ask these questions every single day. These people are the ones who believes that if they did everything just right, life would be ok. “Right” meant finding a spouse, having kids, getting the starter home, then getting the bigger home with a big garage, maybe having a great education to make lots of money, and the list goes on. Even if you were to obtain all of this, you would still feel empty, because this version of success is so empty. This emptiness makes you feel lonely, isolated, and exhausted. This feeling is know to some as Existential Despair. It is hard to want to learn methods on how to relieve stress when you feel this way.
Existential despair is the hurtful discrepancy of the difference between what really is, and what we think should be. The absence of life’s meaning or sense of loss is the common factor for all the kinds of emotional distress and has been called the modern illness. Everything makes you feel that life is meaningless- disappointment, loss, alienation, failure, disease, pain, or just boredom. Existential despair is here when we believe the lie that having material things will make us happy and successful. We try to buy our way through life, not knowing how to relieve stress, when what we really need is to make peace with us, ourselves.
Making Peace With Ourselves
Accomplishing this requires changing the habitual way we focus all of our energy. This means that what you focus on will expand! When you concentrate on something, it will increase in your life. So if you concentrate on positive things, such as gratitude, then you will start to learn how to relieve stress and you will feel less depressed. How to relieve stress? Learn to be grateful
What is Gratitude?
It is a state of being thankful. How does this effect us? This means when we view life, we see opportunities for growth in love, and we see the world as a good place instead of a place of only pain and suffering.
Gratitude as a Way of Living
Are we really thankful for the things we have and for the wonderful people in our lives? How often a day do we say the words “thank you”? Have you ever told yourself thank you for making yourself into the wonderful person that you are?
How would you feel about life if you lived as though everything was a present for you? What way would you begin your day if you were first thankful for the breath of life that you possess?
Practical Steps for Practicing Gratitude
1. Begin a journal of gratefulness. List as many things as you can think of that you personally are grateful for having. Try to think of at least 10 things a day. Start with the basics: your home, food in your cupboard, clothes you have to wear, a car to drive, family and friends, your job, that book you like that is lying on your nightstand, your perfume you got on sale today, etc. Also write down why you are thankful; you need to focus on this.
2. Say thank you every day and often!
3. Try an alphabet exercise for gratitude. In your journal or notebook, jot down letters A-Z. Then, as quickly as possible, write I am grateful for ______ beginning with A, and going through the entire alphabet. So for example, you would write: I am grateful for acorns, I am grateful for buttercups, I am grateful for cats, etc. This is how to relieve stress.
4. Begin every day with a decision to be thankful for the many blessings you have.
5. Do a kind act every day for someone.
6. Be on the lookout for ways to genuinely give praise to your kids, colleagues, partner, employees, the waitress at the restaurant, mailman, etc. Look for ways to make others feel good, and you will feel better yourself, and you will learn how to relieve stress .
Now that you know how to relieve stress by learning to be thankful, get out there are tell someone how much you love them!