Gratitude, Doing And Presence

How GDP can help you to Unwind, Recharge and Reboot

For many of us here in Newcastle, the year has flown by. There has been so many events and things on everyone’s life has seemed to be a little more hectic this year. It would be hard pressed to live in Newcastle and not have been affected by the Supercars, Hunter Street Light Rail, King Edward Park, Strzelecki Anzac Walkway, The Bather’s Way redevelopments or the plethora of building works going on. So as the year winds to a close, we at Transitions Chiropractic think that this is there perfect time of year to switch our focus to our GDP.  No I haven’t suddenly turned myself into an economist and I have no idea about Gross Domestic Product; I’m talking about Gratitude, Doing and Presence. These three focus areas can have a huge positive influence on your life and as the saying goes, “The Best things in Life are Free.”

Gratitude: A Way To Ease Depression and Decrease Overeating

Gratitude is the art of recognising and acknowledging the awesome things that are going on in and around your life. It is somewhat hard to process or realise that life owes you nothing. Simon Sinek is an author that you can either love or hate however, here in his conversation on millennials he discusses the problem of thinking the world owes you anything. Forbes magazine talks about the 7 benefits of gratitude and lists opening the door for new relationships, improving physical & physchological health, enhancing empathy, reduced aggression and improved self esteem amongst them. A recent article in Time magazine also linked Gratitude to providing true happiness that lasts, a way to ease depression and also a way to decrease overeating!

It is important to recognise though that Gratitude is an art. Part of our human survival mechanism is that we are pre-programmed to be wary of the bad things. It is a survival instant that triggers our fight or flight defence. As such it has been said that it takes 4 positive experiences or moments to outweigh just one negative moment. Therefore it can be very hard when trying to be grateful to actually think of something you are genuinely grateful for. It is completely ok to start small however, as long as you can see the top of the grass and not the roots. We all have something that we can express gratitude towards. Take time out each and every day to look at what you have and be grateful for that is a blessing. Whether it is your health, your house, this amazing city Newcastle where we live, the beauty of Merewether Beach, the delicious café breakfast you had on Darby St, the coffee from Good Brother that kickstarted your morning, your partner or your kids.

“Having Somewhere To Go Is Home, Having Someone To Love Is Family, Having Both Is A Blessing.”

My daily gratitude practice involves spending 5 minutes each day with my little black book. Every morning I’ll write 5 things into my little black book that I am grateful for today. Whether it is 3, 5 or 10 it is up to you. Gratitude is one of the foundation steps that I’d suggest you take in the 21 day challenge and if you take this step I doubt you’ll ever step back down. This is a simple tool that you can use to elevate your perspective just by shifting your attitude.  A very simple yet unknow quote to start your gratitude reflection could be “having somewhere to go is home, having someone to love is family, having both is a blessing.”

“Do It Quickly And Go With It”

Do. As the year spirals towards a close, the list of things to do seemingly gets longer and longer while the time to do it all gets shorter and shorter. Continually adding things to this list, trying to find to be perfect in every area is tough. Especially now, getting things done matters so much more than preparing and finalising again and again. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “we are always getting ready to live but never living.”

Allen Saunders said, “Life is what happens to us while others are making plans” and I want to squeeze the most life out of the remainder of 2017 that is possible. So for me I am going to take notes from Mel Robbins’ book The 5 Second Rule. Need to make a decision? Do it quickly and go with it. Backing yourself and not second guessing is essential to maximising your time. 90% of the time a quick guess proves to be just as right as a well thought out strategic answer. Go with your gut and start doing those things on the ever growing checklist and revel in the fact that done is better than perfect. Stop getting ready to get ready.  We are all aware that action speaks so much louder than words as the year spirals towards a close, just remember “don’t be fooled by the calendar, there is only as many days in the year as you make use of”- Charles Richards.

“Presence allows you to capture the real life amazingness right before your eyes”

What means more to you this Christmas? Presents or presence? Does your partner really care about the new book, socks, cycling jersey or computer game you brought them? Or do they care more about you? Presence is “the state or fact of existing or occurring, or being present in a place or a thing.” Whereas presents “are something that is presented, a gift.” The best gift that you can give this year is the gift of being present. At Transitions Chiropractic, one of our belief statements is “be where your feet are” meaning staying in the moment and giving that moment your attention, your focus and your presence.

“Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute presents for presence,” said Anthony Witham. Getting off the phone, Facebook or Instagram and being with those you are with is essential. A key distinction here is that you are so much more than bones and flesh. We want to interact with you, your personality and your inner being. So getting off these distractions is essential otherwise we can fall in the trap of presenteeism. Presenteeism turns the beautiful connected human that you are into Casper the friendly ghost. You become a shadow of the real you and it’s impossible to really connect.

“The Best Things In Life Are Free”

There is magic not just in thebig moments, but in the moments between the moments. If you are present you might be lucky enough to receive the best present possible. The look in your partners eye as she opens her gift, the smile that spreads as you bite into that delicious cherry, or the kiss of the bubbles from the champagne against your lips at the Christmas party could all mean more than the gift itself. Presence allows you to capture the real life amazingness right before your eyes. No watching through an iPhone, streaming online or Netflix could ever compare with. Don’t miss your chance for that first kiss, or miss your kid’s stumble and struggle as they rip at the wrapping paper. This moment, this breath, this day.

A tip to enhancing your presence is to approach each day with a beginners mind. Ask what you could possibly learn from each encounter and from each moment. Finally switch off the iPad, the phone and the television. Multitasking is a flat out myth and in reality we are just half-heartedly attempting to concentrate on different things. Deliberately choose where you want your attention to go & you and those you truly care about will notice the difference when you are truly present.