#074 Gratitude Makes Everything Better!

#074 Gratitude Makes Everything Better!

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can stop fear, anger, and anxiety in their tracks.

“Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances.”
~ Timothy Miller

I Love November!

I LOVE November!!

I love Halloween, which is the day before November.

I love Thanksgiving, and I love when my birthday falls on Thanksgiving.

I love the fall, the leaves, the cool/changing weather, and I love everything about November.

And, I especially love the focus and extra push when it comes to gratitude, appreciation, and giving thanks.

The Power Of Gratitude

I believe that gratitude is a simple, yet powerful emotion.

There are some positive emotions that some people struggle to experience. Some people have a hard time getting to compassion and love, but gratitude seems to be a positive emotion that most people can experience fairly easily and consistently.

I believe that gratitude is a super emotion. It has the power to stop other negative emotions dead in their tracks.

Let me give you an example.

A while ago, I was trying to talk to my son who was talking on the phone. He “sh”d me.

I was annoyed and continued trying to talk to him. He yelled at me to “Shut up!”

I was a little more annoyed until my wife took his side and said, “Benjamin, leave him alone. He’s on the phone.”

Then I was MAD!

I was livid. I thought, “She was supposed to take my side.”

I’ve trained myself to have warning bells that go off in my head when I experience anger, and I realized what was going on.

Instantly I chose to think, “It’s kind of great that my son has a mother that is willing to take my son’s side.”

I remembered how frustrating it was as a teen when my parents would gang up on me.

All of the sudden, I felt GRATITUDE!

I felt gratitude for my wife, how she was BEing as my son’s mom, and I was grateful for her and my son.

Gratitude stopped my anger right in its tracks.

In an instant, I went from being livid, to being grateful and appreciative for my wife and son.

Gratitude is a super emotion!

Gratitude as a Feeling

Gratitude is a feeling, an emotion.

It is created by our thoughts.

It is created when we choose to appreciate our circumstances.

Gratitude is when you intentionally choose to be grateful and appreciative for your circumstances.

Gratitude is a powerful driving emotion.

We know from the model that our feelings drive our actions.

When I’m grateful I take actions like serving others, appreciating others, treating others (and myself) with kindness and patience.

Gratitude drives actions that create results that I love in my life.

Gratitude as a Way of BEing

Gratitude can be more than a simple feeling.

Gratitude can be a way of BEing. It’s a choice.

I love BEing grateful. It is one of my favorite ways to BE as a dad.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably caught yourself being ungrateful.

If you’re like most people, when you’re ungrateful, you probably parent with less kindness and compassion.

It’s okay to catch yourself being ungrateful. It’s part of being human and being a parent.

BUT, you also have the power to BE grateful!

AND, I promise . . .

Gratitude WILL change EVERYTHING!

How to Develop the Superpower, GRATITUDE!

  1. Set your Intention Early and Every day!
  • This has been powerful in my life!
  • When I get up, I set my intention for the day.
  • I guide my mind as to where I want it to go to work.
  • This takes practice, but it’s totally worth it.

2. Practice BEing Grateful Daily.

  • This one goes right along with #1, once you’ve set you intention, simply practice!
  • Don’t expect yourself to be perfect.
  • Just commit to practicing BEing grateful every day.
  • It will become more and more natural.

3. See The Power of Gratitude In Your Life.

  • As you set your intention and practice gratitude, see the power in your life.
  • See how BEing grateful impacts your life.
  • Look for new and more things to be grateful for.
  • Find new ways to be grateful.

4. Keep a Gratitude Journal.

  • Seriously, there are some many things to be grateful for, and when you start to look for them, you’ll be overwhelmed with all the gifts in your life.
  • Keep a gratitude journal so you can remember and fully appreciate your life.
  • This journal will help you look back and see your own growth.
  • It’s fun to look back on things you were grateful for.

5. Share Your Gratitude with Others.

  • You can’t make others feel gratitude, but you can lead by example.
  • Help other people feel loved and appreciated by sharing your gratitude for them with them.
  • This may help others see things that they are grateful for.

Call to ACTION!

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#074 Gratitude Makes Everything Better!


Yelling is great for communicating with someone who is far away, but when you yell at someone who is close to you it only triggers their flight or fight response.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
~ Robert Fulghum

If You Want to Stop Yelling At Your Teen, Stop Yelling at YOURSELF!

Okay, so this might be a stretch. You probably don’t “yell” at yourself out loud, but be honest, how do you speak to yourself on the inside?

How often do you “yell” at yourself in your head?

How often do you tell yourself that you’re “not good enough”, or that you “should have done better”?

The truth is, if you want to stop yelling at your teen, you have to stop yelling at YOU!

Start treating yourself with kindness, and it will be easier to treat your teen with kindness.

Why Do We Yell?

If you’re like most parents, you yell to be heard.

Maybe you yell out of anger, overwhelm, or fear.

If you’re like most parents, sometimes you yell because you believe, “that’s the only way my kids will listen.”

I want you to dig deeper.

Why do YOU yell?

My guess is that this is something that you saw your parents do. Maybe it’s a habitual response. Maybe it really does seem like it’s the only way your kids will listen.

The best way to start controlling the urge to yell is by understanding all the deeper reasons behind the why, with compassion!

No matter how much you have yelled in the past, remember that you have always done your best. Appreciate your constant effort as a parent to show up and do your best.

It’s hard being a parent.

What Does Yelling Do?

Yelling triggers the Fight/Flight/Freeze response.

This is why yelling is a good idea when trying to protect a child from a dangerous situation. You yell “STOP” and a child is likely to freeze before running into a busy street.

However, when it comes to teaching something to your child or teen or punishing them, or disagreeing with them, yelling is not the best option.

Like I said, yelling triggers the fight/flight/or freeze response.

It actually puts your teen in survival mode. When getting yelled at, rather than listening to what’s being said you start focusing on the speaker because you perceive them as a threat. You start looking for an escape or you start getting angry in preparation to fight for your survival.

Think back to the last time you got yelled at. How did you feel, scared, defensive, embarrassed?

Because you go into survival mode, your primitive brain takes over and your prefrontal cortex takes a back seat.

Your ability to learn at a high level is greatly diminished. Instead, your primitive brain creates an emotional response that quickly turns into a habit.

I’ve taught about how “calm is contagious” as Rorke Denver says, and how humans are herd animals. The other thing that yelling does is escalate the emotional tension. It spreads to the person being yelled at, and they are likely to yell back.

This is the fight response.

How to Stop Yelling

  1. Explore the why behind your yelling (Remember, this also applies to your inner self-talk.)
  • When I explored this for me, I realized that a big reason why I yelled was that that was what I learned from my parents and other adults in my life.
  • I usually yell out of anger.
  • I yell because I want to control the situation.
  • I often yell because I want to control my teenager.

2. Have compassion for you and your teen.

  • It’s okay that you’ve yelled, and you’re probably going to yell again.
  • You want to be better, and that’s a powerful place to start!
  • You and your teen ARE DOING YOUR BEST!

3. Practice who you want to BE when parenting is easy.

  • It sounds weird, but try it!
  • When parenting is easy, intentionally practice how you want to speak to your teen when things are hard.
  • This will create a new way of BEing, which will create new habits.
  • Practice intentionally BEing the parent of your dreams, especially when it’s hard.

4. Practice who you want to BE when parenting is hard.

  • Obviously, this one is harder, but it’s powerful.
  • When parenting is hard, intentionally fall back into what you practiced when things were easy.
  • Practice getting anger and fear out of the driver’s seat.
  • Practice intentionally BEing the parent of your dreams, even though it’s hard.

5. Use Thought Downloads and the Model

  • Use the model to explore the thoughts and feelings that lead to yelling.
  • Use the model to explore the results that yelling creates in your life.
  • Use the model to practice intentional parenting.

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership! The price is getting ready to go up, and we’re making it better than ever!