Find Your Riches by Giving Thanks
Happiness isn’t as complicated as we, in our modern confusion, often make it out to be. Good health and wellness aren’t as complicated as we make them out to be either. We don’t need a million bucks or a private jet to find joy each day, and neither do we need a super-diet and a complex medication/supplement/fitness regimen to feel better on a regular basis.
There is so much power in GETTING BACK TO BASICS, and there is so much peace to be found by embracing simple solutions to the complicated anxieties that swirl in our overly stressed modern minds. That is one of the greater pieces of wisdom I discovered while navigating the extremely dark days of my own health challenges, and this week as we approach Thanksgiving, I’d like to focus on that simplicity in the form of gratitude.
Maybe we need to get back to the basics of gratitude.
There are always things to be worried about, stressed about, or depressed about, and if we don’t necessarily have such things invading our lives at present, then we can invent them in our minds (or have them fed to us by negative outside forces such as media headlines).
However, there are always things to be grateful for our lives, too, even during challenging times. We just have to acknowledge them.
It’s simple. Just make a list.
We can each make a gratitude list at any given time, and that list doesn’t have to be complex or full of splashy Instagram-type items like “I just bough a new Lexus! So blessed!” In fact, the simpler the better, because if we can be grateful for the “simple” things in life, then we find a joy that doesn’t depend on wealth, possessions, social standing, or the other vagaries of daily life.
Today, I’m going to share a gratitude list that I compiled rather quickly, and I’d like you to make your own Ten Point Gratitude List as well, something that you can really focus on this week in order to realize all of the huge riches you possess in your life right now. Try to focus on your gratitude list as you head into this holiday weekend! I truly think it will help to put your mind and emotions in a better place!
My Quick & Simple Gratitude List
1. I’m grateful for the ability to exercise, specifically to run.
For me this is a God-given method of finding bliss and mental/emotional wellness on a regular basis. It is a way to reset myself in times of stress. It is a way to get closer to God, and it is a way to get more in touch with the dreams He makes available to me. It is free, it is accessible, and it is something that I don’t take for granted. It might not always be easy to get out the door and get those first few miles in, but it always makes me feel better in ways that are priceless.
2. I am grateful for my mind.
Once upon a time, when I was going through prescription drug withdrawal (SSRI withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal), I felt very scared and confused much of the time. It felt difficult to organize a day or even put together a few pages of writing. I love being able to write and I love to be able to analyze situations and events in order to offer insight and a healthy perspective to others. I thank God for the mental gifts He has given me.
3. I am grateful for a loving family.
I am grateful for my wife, my parents, my brothers, my in-laws, my niece and nephews, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents (alive or passed), and my cousins. My family is grounded in faith, and they are supportive and fun. We’ve already had enough good times together to fill a football stadium, and many of those times didn’t require a lot of money or whatever to happen. I am thankful for support and for being able to together share in the “simple” joys (playing cards, watching movies, having a campfire, getting coffee, going shopping, going to a happy hour, taking a roadtrip, sharing a meal, going to the beach, etc. etc. etc.). This is how daily joy is found.
4. I am grateful for my cat, Benjie.
He has been with me for nearly 20 years now, through thick and thin and through various moves and different cities. He’s kept me company while I work, when I’m sick, and as I’m relaxing. If I get up in the middle of the night for a snack and a glass of almond milk, he usually gets up from his bed, too, to sit by my feet and purr. He too loves movies, and together we help each other find simple and important measures of relaxation and stress relief (although I don’t know if he has too much stress in his life in the first place).
5. I am grateful for books.
I am grateful for Amazon. I am grateful for libraries. These things have allowed me to travel the world, meet new people, share in inspiring stories, and find important new ideas and measures of comfort. Books help me to remember that the world is full of people struggling—both with themselves and with outside forces—and it also full of people finding forgiveness, healing, and strength, and ultimately overcoming their challenges. When I’m feeling alone or confused or simply wanting to relax, books bring me comfort and inspiration. Books are a part of my daily life, in sickness and in health, and I am grateful for them.
6. I am grateful for fresh produce and a plethora of easily accessible grocery stores on every corner.
In this blessed American life, I can drive three minutes and find more food choices than I could ever need. Then, I can bring these food items home and cook and feast each day of the week in a manner that previous generations or other populations in the world could only dream of. I am never lacking, never wanting for food. I am grateful for this, and by the way, I am also grateful for clean water.
7. I am grateful for sunshine and fresh air.
These things fill me with warmth and renewal that are deep and spiritual; they allow me to feel alive, and sunshine especially fills me with joy and peace of mind. And when I can’t find a lot of that blessed sunshine in Wisconsin (think December through April/May), I’m grateful to spend some time in places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Mexico.
8. I am grateful for how I’ve been able to help people overcome their challenges via my blogs, books, videos, and coaching sessions.
This is truly very meaningful and creative work, and I love being able to lift others up and help them see a way forward through tough times. I know this opportunity comes from God, and I thank Him for it.
9. I’m grateful for healing.
Both in my case and in the case of my wife, we’ve been granted miracles of healing when we’ve needed them the most. In my case, during Paxil withdrawal and Xanax withdrawal, and in my wife’s case during pituitary surgery, ovarian surgery, an accidental morphine overdose at the hospital, and with things such as migraines and thyroid issues that have seen so much improvement over the years. We’ve looked up to God during very difficult and frightening times, and He has always answered us and continues to sustain us. For these answered prayers of healing I’m so grateful.
10. I’m grateful for the “simple” aspects of a normal day.
Waking up relaxed, having coffee, reading devotions, cooking nice meals, working on something that excites me, exercising, making plans for the future, and relaxing at night. Nothing is more important than health and peace of mind, and I will never take these things for granted. Simple days can be pretty spectacular, and I’m grateful for them.
Have a very blessed Thanksgiving everyone!
Until next time,
Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.
“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”
“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”
Jon - British Columbia, Canada
“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.
"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”
Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt
“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”
Andi, North Carolina
“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”
“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”
“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”
Erikka, South Dakota
“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”
“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”
Leanne – Ontario, Canada
"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."
Miguel, Atlanta, GA
"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."
“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”
“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”
Emma, United Kingdom
“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”
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CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING
If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.