15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.

Attack Despair With Gratitude


A funny thing about the human brain is that it is only capable of experiencing one emotion at a time. While people are capable of multitasking intellectually (women better than men), emotions are a whole different animal involving the focus of specific neural pathways in the limbic system of the brain and the autonomic nervous system. If you’ve ever taken a speech class or public speaking class, you may have been taught that you can trick your mind out of fear or nervousness by replacing it with excitement, or enthusiasm, or even anger. You can just roll up a magazine or newspaper and pound it against a wall or a table to get your blood pressure rising and work yourself up into a near-frenzy and presto, you are no longer nervous. I just wouldn’t recommend this before giving a somber eulogy.

So, whenever you are suffering from depression, hopelessness, anguish, dejection, despondency, discouragement, forlornness, gloom, melancholy, misery, ordeal, pain, sorrow, trial, tribulation, wretchedness, or any other synonym for despair… the quickest way to drive it out of your mind and body is with gratitude. Just keep repeating to yourself, out loud if you need to, every single thing that you are grateful for. Even if they are dumb things that you never thought about. Anything within arms reach of you right now, be grateful for. Then just stream of consciousness your way into everything else in your life that you can think of.

I am grateful that I have this baseball cap. I am grateful that I have fingers with which to type. I am grateful that I can feel with the tips of my fingers. I am grateful that I can see. I am grateful that my cat bite is nearly healed. I am grateful for the dull ache in my muscles after yoga this morning. I am grateful that I am healthy and fit. I am grateful for the air in my lungs. I am grateful that I can take deep cleansing breaths that expand my chest and grateful for exhaling the toxins out of my body. I am grateful for grapes. I am grateful for dogs (just sometimes not MY dog). I am grateful for the books I read. I am grateful for the people in my life. I am grateful for the time I had with my fiance. I am grateful that I can choose to have my mind focus only on things that are uplifting me and energizing me and keeping me centered and serene and at peace.

What are you grateful for?

Author: Matt_S_Law

Matt S. Law is an author focusing on success principle and motivational books. He was born, raised and currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

3 thoughts on “Attack Despair With Gratitude

  1. Good Stuff Matt!

  2. Thanks, Matt. I just found this site today and your writings. Read all your articles – good stuff. Your writing style captivates me, probably because it sounds a lot like I’d want to sound if I were expressing my thoughts professionally online or on paper. Witty, succinct, easy to digest. I especially agree with Attack Despair with Gratitude. I have a habit of expressing my gratitute to the Universe/God/One Spirit (whatever you call it) each morning when I awaken, first of all for the fact that my mind and body have happily awakened again and that a new day with all its possibilities stretches out to greet me. Luckily for me (or perhaps because of this daily practice), I am personally unfamiliar with most of the long string of nouns itemized at the beginning of paragraph two. So, when I find an unhappy soul, particularly a friend who might be inclined to listen to my advice, I usually advise just what you did – count your blessings. You’re lucky to be alive, breathing, functioning, able to hear, able to see, conscious, intelligent, talented, attractive, have friends, I tell them – whew, the list goes way, way out there. As you already know, Matt. Obviously you focus on success principles and motivational ideas; I’ve been reading such works for 35+ years and I still learn something new or a new angle to an older idea. I feel like my purpose is to be the Julie Appleseed, the sower of bright ideas regarding how to find success and experience happiness, just as you are my counterpart, Matty Appleseed. Heck, you got there first with the goods! But more seriously, I admire your style and how you put the ideas together in a refreshing manner, and I’m certain that your readers who need upliftment will surely find it with you. Thanks so much for sharing; I’m considering joining the folks at Helium.com and finding out if I too have some pungent ideas worthy of sharing with the readers. Best to you, Julie

    • Thank you for your kind words, Julie. I certainly hope that my writing can add value to the lives of others (or really just help people to see the value in their own lives more easily). I hope to hear from you again!

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