Welcome back to Comeback Class. Thanks for joining me again this week. If you are loving the podcast,
make sure that you hit that subscribe button so that you never miss an episode. This week I wanna talk
to you about a practice that I have included in my daily routine. And it has really helped me take control
of my anxiety and be more present and really just improve my health overall. Hopefully you’ll find the
same benefits. I know that you will if you really try it, and that practice is gratitude. So before I really
learned about gratitude and how to incorporate it into my everyday life, when I heard the word
gratitude or thankfulness, I would just think about Thanksgiving, which, you know, usually at
Thanksgiving, it’s a time when we all think about these things more and we talk about what we’re
grateful for, and we might go around the table and say something that we’re grateful for.
But the beautiful thing is, is you don’t have to just wait for Thanksgiving to be grateful, to be thankful,
right? You can be thankful all year long, and you should be thankful all year long. So why is it that we
sometimes only think about it during that particular time of year? During the holidays, psychologists
have a term called the negativity bias, or also that negativity effect, which is a cognitive bias that
basically says things that happen to us that are negative have a greater effect on our psychological state
than ones that are neutral or ones that are positive. And this has evolved over thousands of years back
to our ancestors when we had to consider everything as a threat. They had to do what they had to do to
survive and to avoid death. And unfortunately, even now in the modern day world where we’re not
having to hunt and gather our food and hide out from predators, we still have some of these thought
So, because our brains are already hardwired to think this way, we have to train ourselves to break that
thought pattern. There is a treatment approach in psychology called habit reversal training. And one of
the components of that is they use a competing response for an action that is taken, that is incompatible
with the habit that you’re trying to break. So for example, if someone is trying to stop biting their nails,
they might have them clasp their hands together as a competing response when that person feels the
urge to bite their nails, because it’s very difficult to do both of those things at once. So how does this
apply to changing our negative thought patterns? When you are truly expressing gratitude and feeling it,
I’m not just talking about, you know, I’m grateful for my house, I’m grateful for my car, I’m grateful for
And you know, it’s like a, like a little kid in the classroom. You have to actually dig into it and actually
really truly feel it. And when you do that, it’s going to replace those negative thoughts. And this research
has shown that this has been incredibly helpful for people with anxiety, depression. It reduces stress
levels, it helps your physical health as well as your mental health. So there are huge, huge benefits to
implementing gratitude practice into your daily life. So I thought that I would share with you some ways
that you can implement this practice and hopefully really see some benefits in both your mental health
and your overall wellbeing. One way is by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down a few things
every day that you are thankful for. And the cool thing is, if you are having a particularly difficult mental
health day, you can go back to your journal and read through all of these things that you’ve written
about, that you’re grateful for, you’ve expressed gratitude for, and it hopefully will be able to lift your
Another thing to do is to practice mindfulness. So we’ve talked about this before, just really taking the
time to pause and appreciate everything that’s going on around you. And I try to practice this regularly
as well. But last Friday I got home from work and it was, it had been such a beautiful day. It was in the
eighties in the afternoon. So this was early evening when I got home from work, and it was just starting
to cool down and it was still sunny and nice outside. And I just went outside in the backyard and I was
playing fetch with my dog, and I was just kind of swinging in my hammock. And I was just looking around
and thinking about how grateful I was and how beautiful the trees looked, and how thankful I was for
my house and my big yard that my dog can run around and play in.
And for some people it might take a little bit of time ’cause you might feel kind of corny just, just looking
at everything and, and thinking about how beautiful it is. But it’s really, it’s, it’s the truth. It’s that we live
on this beautiful earth and we are so fortunate for many of the things in our life. So it’s, it’s so important
and it’s so helpful and beneficial to really take the time to observe those things and just, just pause and
just, just breathe and, and take it all in. In addition to expressing your gratitude internally, you can also
do it externally and go out of your way to say thank you and express appreciation to the people around
you, like your family and your friends and your colleagues, and just let them know how much you
appreciate them, how much you love them, because it’s going to make them feel good and it’s going to
make you feel good.
Volunteering is another great way to practice gratitude. If you listen to the episode about creating a
vision for your life, you know that one of the eight life categories is volunteering and contribution. So in
order to have a truly fulfilling life, we need to include some sort of service or contribution to those
around us, to our community, or to the world. Practicing self-care is also a form of gratitude and taking
care of your physical and mental health and just really appreciating the things that your body can do and
the fact that you even exist. Now, this might sound a little kooky, but sometimes I think about how we
are put here on this earth, and we are given all of these things like our five senses, so we can see things
and feel things and, and smell things and taste things. And we get these opportunities every single day,
all day long, but we don’t often think a lot about them.
So even something as simple as like, you know, tasting really good food, like taking a bite out of a really
good chocolate chip cookie that just came out of the oven, it’s when you take the time to just appreciate
those really small things, you feel so much lighter and happier. Think about your brain and how powerful
it is and how over all these years of, of existence that we’ve been able to create all of these cool things
and invent all of these cool things. And how, right now, you being alive during this time, you have access
to so many things that people didn’t have before. And you have all of these resources that people didn’t
have before. And we continue to grow and evolve as a society, and we’re able to experience more.
When you really start to have that mindset, it’s, it changes everything.
It changes your, your thoughts and the way that you look at the world. You can also practice gratitude
through meditation or prayer and just setting aside a few moments each day to visualize all the things
that you’re thankful for, to thank God or to thank the universe, and to truly feel those emotions that
come with it. I talk a lot about living an intentional life, and part of living an intentional life is creating
the space in your life for these moments in your every day. So making it a practice, making it a habit,
being intentional that for this few minutes I am going to focus on gratitude and expressing what it is that
I appreciate in my life. Throughout our lives. We have these big moments and these big events that we
can be grateful for, but there’s also little things every single day that we can express gratitude for as
And like I said, when you are being mindful and you are intentionally looking for these things, it really
just changes your whole thought process. So it’s your, it could be your warm cup of coffee in the
morning, or a really nice sunset, or like the beautiful tree that I saw in my backyard. You just have to
allow yourself to be aware of these things and to be present and just enjoy them as they come. Like, I,
sometimes I just will look at my dog when he’s doing something funny or he’s just being cute. And you
know how sometimes when, when a dog just sits there and they just tilt their head to the side and look
at you every time he does that, I just, I just smile inside and, and I smile outside too, because it’s just so
cute. And I just am like so grateful that I have him.
And he’s just so adorable and funny. And it’s, you know, it’s really small, but it’s just, those are the little
things that, that make me happy and that make me grateful. So just any little, any little thing that makes
you smile, you can express gratitude for another really cool thing that I have done in the past, which I
should do again. And I’m actually glad I did some research on this because it reminded me. But a cool
thing you can do is to keep a gratitude jar so you can write things down that you’re thankful for on little
pieces of paper and put them in a jar. And the way that I did this a few years ago, actually it was a while
ago, but I had a jar and I would start it on New Year’s, and every time something good happened, or
every time I was grateful for something, I thought about it, I would write it down and put it in the jar.
And then at the end of the year, so that New Year’s Eve before the next year, I would
empty the jar and, and read everything. And it was really, really fun. And I think if I have kids one day, I’ll
probably do this with them. So you could try it with, as a family, you could try it if you’re a teacher, I
think it’s a really cool way to teach gratitude to kids as well. But, or if you’re just an adult and, and it’s
something that you wanna do, go for it. Like I said, I did it myself a few years ago, and it was, it was
really fun and I, I really enjoyed it. There is one caveat that comes with gratitude practice that I want to
share with you, and I want you to remember when you are expressing gratitude, that doesn’t mean that
you should feel guilty when you’re not expressing gratitude, if that makes sense.
Because sometimes we will say to ourselves, why am I so upset about this? I should be so grateful. I
have all these wonderful things in my life. Why am I not grateful? Why am I not grateful? And you
certainly do not need to feel that way. You can express gratitude and appreciation for the things in your
life without minimizing the painful experiences that you have or that you’re going through. If you are
experiencing anxiety or depression, and you are trying to be grateful and you feel like it’s just not
working or it’s just not enough, I also want you to remember that this is just one tool to aid in your, your
mental health and in your healing. There are lots of other methods and sometimes you need to
implement a few different things. I still think that you should try this and try these methods of
expressing gratitude and appreciation, because I, I do think they are, they’re so beneficial.
But understand that expressing gratitude may not be the solution to your mental health struggles. And
that’s okay, right? There is this thing about toxic, toxic positivity where we tell people who are
depressed, oh, just think positive, you know, and everything will be fine. And I, I wanna be very clear
that that’s not what I’m saying, and that’s not why I am sharing this with you. I’m sharing it with you
because I think it is a tool and it’s a really powerful and a valuable tool. But if you try this and you’re still
feeling anxious or depressed, you’re not a failure. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that there’s
something else that you need, possibly other things that you need. If there’s one method that I think will
help the most, or the one that has helped me the most is mindfulness and consciously being present in
each moment as it comes, because it keeps me from focusing on negative thoughts and ruminating
about the past or feeling anxious, worried, concerned about the future.
Instead, I am focused on what is going on right now in this present moment. And it does take practice
because, like we talked about, this is our brains are naturally hardwired to focus on negative things. So it
does take work. It’s not, it’s not hard work. It shouldn’t be hard work to to feel gratitude and to be
appreciative, but you will have to consistently remind yourself and consciously incorporate this way of
thinking until it becomes more natural to you, until it becomes just part of the way that you live your life
and part of your personality. Just like everybody else, I am a work in progress and I will be for the rest of
my life. But I hope that these tips and these strategies helped you maybe learn some ways that you can
start to feel better and start to feel a little less stressed, maybe a little less anxious.
And if you loved this episode, if you found it helpful, maybe you know someone who might also find it
helpful or who is going through a tough time, share this episode with them. As always, I am so grateful
to have you here as a listener. I’m so grateful to be able to have this podcast and record this for you
every week. And when I get messages from you, emails and dms telling me how much you enjoyed it
and how much it’s helping you, it really just, it, it means everything. I really can’t tell you how, how
much it really means to me. So thank you so, so much, and I will see you here next week.
Are you ready and determined to make this next season of your life the best season of your life? I
believe that any person who is willing to invest in their personal growth has the ability to accomplish
anything. And I wanna give you the tools to make that happen. That’s why I created Heartbreak Hero.
It’s my premier program designed to help high value people just like you heal from their breakup,
discover who they truly are and find their ideal partner. Visit theheartbreaknurse.com to sign up now
and get ready to make your comeback.
ICU nurse by day,
breakup coach by night.
After dealing with a devastating heartbreak that turned my world upside down, I made a conscious decision to pursue the life of my dreams and never settle.
Now, I teach other women how to do the same.
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FUN FACT: MY FAVORITE PIZZA IS HAWAIIAN (AND I'LL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT IT!)
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