We all have those points where we hit what I call an “emotional slump.”
You know what I’m talking about. It’s those days where you feel you don’t know why your working anymore, why you’re a father, or why you’re even trying to end your out-of-control behavior.
An emotional slump happens when you lose sight of your purpose or when you’re overwhelmed by so many negative things that you feel a little stuck. But, how do you get yourself out of that space?
Gratitude is a great way to pull yourself out of an emotional slump.
You’ve heard people explain the importance of gratitude. They talk about it in pretty general terms and simple suggestions. Be grateful for what you have, sit down and spend some time writing out what you’re grateful for, and I’ll admit, that even I discussed it in these general terms up until the past few years.
I realized there’s more to gratitude than most people get into. I decided to dive deeper into gratitude as I started setting larger and larger goals for myself. Today I want to share what I’ve learned during these explorations of gratitude. If you learn to practice and express gratitude this way, it’s going to make a massive difference in your reboot.
Ask Yourself Some Gratitude Questions
The purpose of this practice is to pull yourself out of an emotional low point and set yourself up for success. You have bigger goals in life today and your emotional slumps will keep you from reaching them. Sticking to surface level gratitude won’t get you the results you need. To dig deep into gratitude, I start by asking myself a few gratitude questions.
What am I actually grateful for?
What are you actually grateful for? Identify whatever that specific thing is. It can be something that seems simple, like food or shelter. These are incredible things that we tend to overlook the most. Maybe you’re grateful for your partner’s caring nature or ability to handle things you can’t. For me, I’ll give the example of being grateful to just be alive today.
Why am I grateful for this?
Now dig into why you’re grateful for this thing. What does it bring to your life? Why is it important? For example, I’m grateful to be alive because I’ve had a handful of near-death experiences in my recent history. A few years ago I nearly drowned in the sea while trying to save a member of my team. It was a very, very close call and it has given me enough reason to be grateful to simply be alive today. Go into detail just as I did above. It brings you into the present moment and reminds you why what you’re grateful for is truly a blessing.
How am I going to express my gratitude?
Consider how you can express your gratitude. What is something you can do? It’s one thing to simply acknowledge you’re grateful for something. But remember – the goal for this exercise is to pull you from a slump. You can’t just feel grateful and leave it there. Expressing your gratitude brings it into the real world. In this case, I would express my gratitude by calling my parents. They are the people who gave me life and then made sacrifices to keep me here. I can call my parents as a way to express gratitude for being alive.
What action am I going to take to express it?
This is where most people drop off. You can write all the gratitude lists you want but if you don’t take action, you never make a change. We practice this throughout the Reboot system. You’ll never end a call or conversation without determining an action step. What action are you going to take to express your gratitude? For my example, I will find out what my parents’ schedule is and ask them when they’re free for a call.
Bringing This Into Your Life
You can practice this gratitude exercise in your mind but it’s much better to write it out. There’s an additional layer of commitment when you write something down. Your thoughts are hypothetical. Writing is an action that brings them into the real world. I suggest you write down your answers to the gratitude questions.
Decide a good time of the day…every day to practice this gratitude exercise. I find that writing about gratitude as part of my morning routine sets the tone for my day. By the time I finish the last question, I have an action item to act on immediately. When I follow through on this action, I’m already building action momentum.
Then you can use this momentum you build with your gratitude practice to carry you into your next task. It keeps things simple and straightforward. You stay reminded of your purpose as you move through your day and are less likely to slip back into that emotional slump!