Author – Emmy Gilmour (now Brunner)
If you want to change your circumstances then first you must change your thinking. I believe that our lives are products of what we think and feel. Some of what we believe has come from our upbringings and some has come from what we have experienced, either way I know that if you want things to change then what you think and feel needs to change too.
“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
In my job I meet and listen to many people who have come to us because they are unhappy with something in their lives. This is usually something that has a major impact on how they view themselves and the choices they then make. One of the things that all of these people have in common, is that they rarely acknowledge their achievements and therefore have very little sense of gratitude for what they already have. Initially when I suggest this to people they get pretty frustrated: how can I feel gratitude when I’m fighting this eating disorder every day? How can I feel gratitude when I am up to my ears in debt?
It can be extremely difficult to feel any appreciation or gratitude when your mind is pre-occupied with destructive thoughts about your food, body or any other distractions. It’s hard, I know, but I believe that what we focus on expands and that if all we do is focus on the negative in our lives, we will just attract more of it.
Gratitude for what you already have is a brilliant way in shifting your thinking into a more positive realm. It is the key to overcoming the numbness to emotions that often results from having an eating disorder. Choosing to have an attitude of gratefulness can actually alter your perception in life, allowing you to experience true happiness.
“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us happy.”
Gratitude means noticing and acknowledging all of your existing blessings and gifts. It could be that you are grateful to have a roof above your head, it could be that you’re grateful to have your health…there will be things in your life that you draw pleasure and gratitude from, it’s about noticing and focusing on them.
Gratitude shifts our thinking from one of lack, to one of abundance. By focusing on abundance we are attracting more goodness into our lives. A great place to start cultivating gratitude is writing a daily gratitude list. That way, you can reflect on everything positive in your life on bad days to shift your mindset.