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How To Overcome Anxiety With Gratitude

Last week, we talked about how to be happy when life ruins your plans. This week, we will discuss how to battle anxiety.

One of the primary drivers of human unhappiness is our attachment to outcomes. When we fixate on the gap between what we want and what we have, we create a whirlwind of negative emotions: doubt, anger, despair, and fear.

The reason we feel these frustrations is that we falsely claim ownership over things that are not ours, and we fail to appreciate what we actually have.

In other words, we focus on control and neglect gratitude.

Think about the things that bring us anxiety:

  • Our health
  • Our money
  • Our status
  • Our relationships

Now, consider the things we underappreciate when we have them:

  • Our health
  • Our money
  • Our status
  • Our relationships

The stupid irony of our existence is that we only desire the things we don’t have. Then, as soon as we obtain them, we shift the gaze of our desire to something new.

So how can we escape anxiety and experience joy?

By breaking the cycle of relentless desire and constructing an engine of gratitude.

Quote Of The Week

“If you are filled with desire, your sorrows swell like the grass after the rain. But if you subdue desire, your sorrows shall fall from you like drops of water from a lotus flower.” – The Buddha

Gratitude Is An Engine

Consider a star. It is a cosmic engine of creation, generating light and heat in the cold darkness of space. It creates itself from itself, transforming a small amount of source material into an infinite source of energy.

Your soul is the same. Inside your mind, you bash perceptions together to create your own reality, which is your idea of who you are in relation to the world around you. 

This is why someone like Hellen Keller, deaf and blind, can thrive in a world that prizes external things like seeing and hearing. 

If she had fixated on her lack of two-fifths of the human sensory experience, she might have been overcome with despair. And who could blame her? However, she refused to be crippled by a desire for the things she didn’t have.

Instead, she made excellent use of the senses she did have to make the best of her situation and serve her community. She published books, advanced the fight for women’s rights, and changed the world’s perception of the value of people who are deaf, blind, or both.

This is the power of gratitude. It sets us free from mental prisons of our own design and allows us to create joy no matter the harshness of our circumstances. 

With the power of your thoughts, you can create gratitude, or you can create despair. Which one do you want?

Question Of The Week

What is something you have that someone else might desire?

Live On Purpose // Die Without Regrets

Each Wednesday, I publish a 3-5 minute newsletter + video podcast that applies ancient wisdom to modern life.

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