Ep 161 Feeling Stressed, Blessed & Toxic Gratitude

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Episode Notes:

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today I want to talk to you about feeling stressed, feeling blessed, and toxic gratitude.  The upcoming weeks can be crazy for a lot of folks and in this episode I want to discuss recognizing how stress feels in your body, the importance of processing it, an important step we miss in feeling blessed, and how society may have programmed us to be on the edge of toxic gratitude.  Tune in to hear about an invitation for you to join me in December.

In This Episode:

  • Physical symptoms of stress and importance of processing them 
  • Overwhelm during the holidays and planning
  • Feeling blessed – and for what reason
  • Toxic Gratitude – When I’m In Charge That Will Be Different podcast with Melissa Bird, Phd
  • December 4th invite
  • www.michellebourquecoaching.com


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Episode Transcript:

Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. And if you’re listening on the day of release, Happy Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, we just keep it so low key, there’s no travel. I do scurry around in the morning so that I can get my workout in and finish up a few things around the house. But after that, Mark, and I just put the finishing touches on our food prep, and then we relax. Lots of football right, folks, it’s just such a nice afternoon. So in line with the holiday today, I wanted to talk to you about feeling stressed, blessed, and a concept called toxic gratitude. So let’s just jump right in with feeling stressed. Sounds fun, right? But the thing is, as we approach this time of year, there can be a lot of added stress in our lives. And I want to tell you a story which prompted me to include stress in this week of gratitude. Because I think it’s important that we start to recognize how it shows up in our lives. So I have been having this issue with my tooth. And I went to the dentist for the second time. Which side note to tell you the truth. I’d rather go to the OB I cannot stand going to the dentist. No offense, if any dentists are listening, I just had a terrible root canal experience. And so I dread it. But anyhow, this is a new dentist. And before we actually do anything from a procedure standpoint, I guess with the tooth, he had suggested a more mindful approach. And I thought it might be helpful to share with you, especially as we get into these crazy times. So apparently, I have what he calls a heavy light. So he asked if I clench my teeth a lot or grind my teeth, and I used to grind all night long when I had my 100% Commission job, and I thought I’d been so much better. But I know when I meditate, the folks are always saying, relax your jaw. But I didn’t realize so pay attention for you. I have my jaw clenched all the time, he had suggested I pay attention because apparently, here’s a little fun fact for you all. He says that your top and bottom teeth should only come into contact with each other for about four minutes a day total from like chewing your food. I have to tell you, mine is way more than that. So where does stress show up for you? Is it clenching your jaw? Is it headaches? Is it shoulder and neck issues? Perhaps low back issues? Now listen, I get it. It can be overwhelming when you have to do all of the things. But once you start paying attention to where you’re feeling that stress, I also want you to take a moment to remind yourself, you don’t have to do everything. Not everyone takes on all of the things that you do. So give yourself credit and own what you are choosing to do and understand that it comes from the power within you. So often we attribute our stress and our overwhelm to all of the external things that we tell ourselves we have to do. We do not have to do any of it. So start paying attention to how your body feels. Also, if something maybe gets canceled, that was on your agenda, and if you’re ecstatic that you no longer have to do it. Maybe you never really wanted to in the first place. Right? So consider being courageous enough to say no to it the next time. And remember, for those things that you are doing, they do not all have to be perfect. And I know some of you You might be cooking, maybe cleaning, getting ready before everyone comes over today on this holiday. And I remember when I used to play on parties, and I would be so short tempered, because everything had to be just right. Pay attention to how you’re feeling as you’re doing all of the work. Because the truth is, when we think everything has to be perfect, and everything has to be right, and then we start feeling resentful, you know, what’s not, quote unquote, right? Our attitudes, because we start to get short with the ones we love. And we probably think they should be doing some of this stuff, too. But the truth is, we are the ones that want to do it. So breathe as you go today. Release your jaw, give yourself some grace, and enjoy what you are creating. And I want to share another tip with you. Because a lot of times, especially in the next couple of weeks, we are going to be telling ourselves that we have so much to do. And I have clients who told me that they are just so overwhelmed. But I really want you to take time in the morning to do a list of what exactly that is. Put down everything that needs to be done, as opposed to saying there’s so much to do. It’s a different energy that is created when we know exactly what needs to be done. And we put it on the calendar. And we have a spot for it just like you would an appointment for work, schedule it. And it’s as good as done. And at minimum, if you’re not putting it on the calendar, like I suggest, just get it out of your head. So you can see what exactly, quote unquote, all of it is. Because our brain is not designed for storage. It is designed for processing. So sometimes, just getting it onto paper helps with the overwhelm. And you don’t have to worry that you’ll forget to do anything. Now, next up, I want to talk about feeling blessed. And I love the thought when we feel blessed, it’s hard to feel stressed, right. So give yourself the opportunity to truly feel blessed. Take five minutes to sit and take in all that you have created. Because the truth is our lives don’t just magically sprinkle down from the sky, right. So give your past self thanks for the work she did. Enjoy your present self. And pay attention to what happens when you take action from that energy of gratitude, a feeling blessed, versus the energy of feeling like you have to do it. And you might be amazed at how your results actually shift. And I also love something that I heard Lewis Howes talk about on one of his podcasts, and I may have mentioned it here before, because you know how we always say, you don’t have to do it, right, I get to do it. But then he took it another level deeper and said, I am blessed to do this because and put your brain on a mission to find what that answer is. And again, pay attention. If you can’t find a reason why you feel blessed to be doing something. Question If you really want to be doing it. It’s so much more useful to have honest conversations, maybe hard conversations with people that you love about things that maybe you just no longer want to do. And that’s okay. And again, I want you to pay attention to what gratitude or feeling blessed however you want to label it feels for you. And I will tell you for years, I have done the gratitude journal, because of course, Oprah told me to write. But I was missing a pretty important component throughout the years because I wasn’t always feeling grateful. It was more of a checklist right? Something that I had scheduled for myself to do in the morning, I’m going to write my five things down and then Okay, gotta get off to work. But you have to take the time to actually feel what that feels like. And I know for a lot of us, we’re too busy to sit around and feel, right. But I’m telling you, that’s where the changes show up in your life. And the more that you practice that, the faster you’ll have access to feeling it in the future. And now I think I just try to feel grateful throughout the day for the little things. It doesn’t have to be something on my list of things to do. And I like to remind myself in that moment. So as I’m finding a parking spot that I was hoping for, as I’m taking a walk with Mark as I’m sitting on the couch with our crazy pup remind myself have in those moments that I am grateful, and feel what that feels like for me, because remember, your brain wants to find evidence for what you believe to be true. So the more you look for gratitude, the more you will find it. Like true, genuine, gratitude. So much fun friends. And now, I just want to close this conversation here with a topic that I recently heard someone talking about. And I thought it was interesting to just include in here, the idea of toxic gratitude. Now, I’ve heard of toxic positivity, and I’ve mentioned it before here, meaning, we don’t always need to feel happiness, right Life is 5050. And if we are always truly happy, we might fall under the umbrella of being a sociopath. And I mean, I can embrace crazy at Michelly. But I think that’s about as far on the spectrum as I want to be right. So the idea of toxic gratitude is one we’re focused on finding gratitude in everything. And I was listening to the when I’m in charge that will be different podcasts with Karen Gillan, and she was talking to Dr. Melissa bird about this idea of toxic gratitude. So even when life is a challenge, we have at times been programmed to look for the positive in it, right. And we don’t really allow ourselves the time to process and feel things like grief, or anger. And when we just jump to how can I be grateful for this, we miss out on being a human, we miss out on the humanity of what we are here on earth to do. And I have to say, and I’ve said this before, I didn’t grow up in a feelings kind of family, right, it’s just much easier to stick your head in the sand and just keep on working. But think about it. That emotion, which we know is energy will come back to you, the universe, I promise you, we’ll serve it up and deal at you and another version at some point in your life. So it might even be what we talked about earlier in the podcast, it might start showing up as clenching of the jaw, or your headaches or the neck and back issues. It’s there to tell you something. And I also think as women, especially especially as little girls, right, we are taught to be nice, and to be kind and not to rock the boat. So something like anger is not an emotion that a lot of us allow ourselves to feel. So I do think there is something to the idea of toxic gratitude. And now that I am more aware of it, I will be on the lookout for it more, right. And as I learned more, I will of course share it to you because I do believe that there are lessons to be learned from everything that happens in our life. But maybe instead of asking, how is this perfect for me, which I have talked about doing in the past? It might just be How Is This for me today? So we don’t jump from A to Z, right? We don’t go from this is a challenge to my life is amazing. But it’s more of a neutral transition. And it might just offer you the time to process the emotions in between to feel the grief, to feel the anger to process it and then to move forward. Because remember, it’s not all be happy when or I’ll be grateful when I accomplish or do it’s how can I find gratitude in this moment and still be true to what is happening for me at this time. Okay, friends, I know toxic gratitude seems a little deep right. I just want to tell you, I am so grateful for all of you who are listening and I hope you have an amazing holiday with your family. I also want to let you know that I am going to hold a free 60 minute group call on December 4 which is a Saturday at 10am Eastern so mark your calendars today and I will be sending the link in more details. As we get closer be sure to go to Michelle Bourque coaching comm to get on the email list. That’s where you’ll get the details first, as well as additional weekly free content. It’s so much fun as an added bonus. I will be doing some teaching on time management and goal setting. We’ll be looking ahead to 2020 to likely do some coaching, some connecting and also having fun because the next couple of weeks might be crazy for some of you and I just want to offer a small bit of time for you to be able to nourish yourself. Self Care is not selfish. And you know, I am all about the ripple effect here what we do and I promise you taking the 60 minutes will also benefit those around you. So, I hope you have the most amazing week. That’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now stay safe and make it a great day. Take care Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to Michelle Bourque coaching.com and click on get started to begin

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