Karl Staib is the founder and President of Domino Connection, an author, and owner of Bring Gratitude LLC. His most recent book, Bring Gratitude: Feel Joyful Again with Bite-Sized Mindset Practices, talks about bringing gratitude to each and every situation in your life, whether good or bad. He joins Kevin Monroe to discuss the contents of his book and how its principles apply to the current pandemic.
Gratitude is the Foundation
More emphasis needs to be placed on gratitude in our daily lives because gratitude is the foundation of where we can start to make changes, Karl says. The more we put our focus on the things we are grateful for, the more those things will come to light and add abundance to our experiences. Gratitude is a key component in living a more joyful life. According to Karl, gratitude is the best way to release endorphins in your brain. These ‘feel-good’ chemicals make us less stressed and help calm us. When we are calm, we make better choices, which enables us to do things that truly matter to us.
The current global pandemic gives us the opportunity for us to understand and have more compassion for those around us. We can use this time of social distancing to make shifts in our mindsets and habits. Although it is scary and we must remain cautious and vigilant, we should not let this opportunity go to waste.
Finding Gratitude in the Challenge
“If I can turn any situation into a growth experience, I can appreciate any moment now,” Kevin quotes from Karl’s book. He asks Karl how it may apply to our current situation. Karl replies that everyone struggles on a daily basis, and if we practice compassion, it opens up our hearts and makes it easier to feel gratitude even during the struggle. He describes a challenge he faced during the pandemic, and how he was able to subvert it by his regular practices of gratitude.
The Strength of Gratitude
In addition to sending out endorphins, gratitude shifts our mindsets. It has a direct effect on what we choose to think about, which dictates who we are and how we behave. It is a powerful tool that helps moderate our reactions to negative experiences. Karl says that bringing gratitude to negative interactions with people allows you to be thoughtful of your next steps. Meditation is a huge part of gratitude, he adds, because it enables you to pause and appreciate the whole moment. This ensures that you do not get swept away by your thoughts and succumb to your ‘inner bully.’ It teaches you your triggers, and once you are aware of them, then you can use gratitude and compassion to make sure you stay level-headed.
The things you think about at the end of the day will go into your long term memory. Additionally, what you put into your head at night solidifies as thoughts and feelings the next day. If you focus on negative things like dwelling on your mistakes, you gain nothing but negativity. However, if you acknowledge your mistakes and approach them with the intention of learning from them, you gain knowledge and perspective. You must take the negative moments and flip them into positive ones in order to live a joyful life. The people that grow and achieve success are the ones who learn from their mistakes.
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