Ep 16: Gratitude Changes Everything

When we face challenging times, it’s natural to sink into despair. However, in this episode, I challenge you to pause during those most challenging times and find just a few minutes to be in the present moment and find something, anything to be grateful for.

Gratitude not only gives you a small break from the worry and stress, it changes your brain chemistry to feel more joy. It helps us sleep. It gives us hope. And we could all use a bit more of that! 

Listen to episode 16 to hear my gratitude practice during the most challenging times. 

What You’ll Learn From This Episode

  • The importance of gratitude. 
  • How Gratitude affects brain chemistry.
  • My outdoors gratitude routine.

If you want help implementing the tools I teach, I would be honored to be your life coach. Working with a coach helps you to create change quicker, easier, and with more fun along the way! Are you ready to create a more Joyful Love in your own Life and Marriage? Then click here to find out more.

Mentioned On The Show:

Podcast Transcript:

p class=”c1″>Hi! This is Rachael Cunningham! And you’re listening to joyful love, Episode 16!

Hello, friends! I hope you’re having a beautiful week!

I’ve actually got a lot going on these next few weeks from exciting new adventures to an out of town trip with 2 of our kids, and then we’ve also got some not-so-exciting things in our life right now that kinda suck … but they’re out of my control but … I still want to focus on these difficult issues in a way that feels really really good to me. So ….   And I’ve rearranged my schedule to make room for extra this week.


So that said, This’ll also be a short episode! But at the end I’ve got 5 minutes of homework for you, so take the extra time to do it!!

This is one of those weeks where I get to shorten a lot of things … not just my podcast, but I’m shortening my morning routine by an hour so that I can focus on a few pressing matters!

But … it’s not a problem. I’m still making room for a moment to move and a moment to meditate. And I know bumps in the road happen and that’s part of this beautiful, magical world. And I have confidence that I’ll get my full routine back next week. I have confidence that we’ll grow through our challenges.


In the meantime – as I work through this week with new challenges, I’m thinking a lot about gratefulness.

Like a whole, whole lot!

You know it’s interesting how when challenges arise in life, our higher brains  WANT to gravitate to finding things to be grateful for.

It offers you thoughts like, “ok, at least we have a roof over our head. My family is safe.”

But we often stop there.

I encourage you to go a little deeper.

I find it’s helpful to step outside, close my eyes, and breathe in the fresh air. Bring all of your focus to the present moment. Let go of the past. Let go of worry of the future … just for this moment if needed.

If your having a hard time letting go of worry, just remind yourself that you can worry again in 5 minutes if you want to.

Just give it a 5 minute break and allow yourself to be fully present with what is right now.

Feel the wind on your face. Feel the air fill your lungs. And begin.

Here are some of mine today.

I’m thankful for the crickets.
I’m thankful for the sunshine.
I’m thankful for my feet on the earth.
I’m thankful my husband loves our kids just as much as I do.
I’m thankful for my house, my dog, my cat.
I’m thankful for coffee and green tea.
I’m thankful I no longer struggle with alcohol.
I”m thankful for fall weather.
I’m thankful for sweaters.
I”m grateful I have 2 coffee mugs that make me smile when I see them.
I’m grateful for clean kitchen counters.
I’m grateful for my mom.

And so on… I could list at least 100 things without stopping if I simply stay present.

And what this little 5 minute (or heck, even 60 second) break to practice staying in the present moment and being truly grateful does is this:

It works freaking MAGIC on your brain friends!

I’m serious. Gratitude changes the chemistry of your brain. It gets those neurons firing! It strengthens the brain in tremendous ways!
Research has shown that gratitude can improve your well-being, increase resilience, strengthen relationships, and reduce stress.

In addition, people who have a practice of gratitude, have stronger immune systems and better sleep.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." Buddha

Everyone of us are capable of pausing and being grateful. No matter what you’ve been through or what you are currently going through.

But we need reminders and we need practice to make it a habit.

Beyond the physical and emotional benefits, gratitude is important because it involves noticing the good in the world.  It’s a spiritual practice.

And no, it doesn’t mean putting your head in the sand about the tough things we all deal with …  But gratitude makes sure that when we’re going through those hard times, we don’t lose sight of the beauty right in front of us.

Charles Dickens Said to

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens

I love that perspective.

I know I’ve often said, “I’ve been given too much to handle.” That’s enough!

But I like the simple thought change here that I have Plenty of blessings in my life (which is true!)  and yes, I have some misfortunes.  But those misfortunes are not in control of my joy.

I am.

And Gratitude for what is, right now, reminds me of that.

So… I told you this episode would be short!  I want you to pause right after it’s done … for even just 2 minutes and breathe deep. And allow your mind to be present with ALL the beauty that is, right now.

What do you have, who do you have that you are grateful for? What about the world around you are you grateful for? Allow yourself to sink into the feeling of peace when you bring awareness to what is good!

On that note, there’s one more thing that I’m grateful for, I’m so grateful for you – my listeners who show up and expect to walk away with something that will help you every week.

And if you’d like to come hang out with my husband and I on a live zoom call this week, we’ll be talking about how to align your relationships, your health, your emotional wellness, AND your big dreams in life – whether that’s your creative life or your business life.  All of these things matter and they all affect each other. And we ALLLLL have difficult lives sometimes … so we ALLL need to be reminded that it IS possible to align your life to include meeting your goals and dreams!

So please come! I know you’ll be inspired and leave with hope that it can be done without the exhaustion and added stress.

You can register for that FREE class at revelyourjourney.com

I hope to see you there!

Enjoy the Show?