Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. – Yoda

What is Your Taskmaster?

As we look around our world today, it can be overwhelming. People wonder,

  • “Are these the birth pains predicting the end of time?”
  • “Are we going to be okay?”
  • “Will we ever go back to a semblance of normal?”

If there is one prevalent, underlying common denominator that I see working in people’s lives today it is fear. Fear is a dreadful taskmaster and it drives people to do ugly things.

Crisis Kit

I have created this anti-anxiety and anti-stress tool kit, proven by science, to help you reduce anxiety and stress. I guarantee you that if you implement some of these ideas and use these tools; you will navigate this uncertainty boat like a highly skilled Captain.

What kind of ugly things?

  • The female in Birmingham, Alabama who starting throwing punches at people in a grocery store because she felt someone was closer to her than 6 feet.
  • The man in Illinois who killed his girlfriend and himself because he feared they had the virus. An autopsy report confirmed both tested negative.
  • A girl driving by me in a car who pointed at her mask and flipped me off while I was walking to the alley to empty my trash. I was alone I might add; no one in sight.

When fear is the driving force behind your thoughts, it depletes your energy, robs you of your perspective, and causes you to make decisions you normally would not do.

If that were not alarming enough, fear suppresses your immune system. In these days we are living in, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots; your immune system is one of your most valuable secret weapons.

Keystone Habit

So what can you do to not succumb to fear; to not surrender your power to it? The answer is simple yet profoundly life-changing; cultivate gratitude.

I’m writing today’s blog post because I don’t want you to be driven by fear and risk fear turning into anger and anger turning into rage and hate.

In today’s post I am encouraging you to make gratitude a keystone habit; one that can change your life.

Your Character Strength of Gratitude

You have so many powerful weapons at your disposal to help you not only combat fear but to live a happier more fulfilled life. The strength we are going to look at today is one you already have inside of you; gratitude.

Gratitude is a powerful human emotion that refers to a state of thankfulness or a state of being grateful; it is acknowledging the good things in life.

Positive Psychology identifies gratitude as one of the 24 character strengths that every person has inside of them. That means you already possess it, you just need to use it to maximize its benefits in your life. It is like a muscle, it needs to be used in order to grow.

Scientific research has proven that gratitude has endless benefits. People who weave gratitude into their day to day lives have enhanced immune systems, better interpersonal relationships, and report increased life-satisfaction.

At the end of the day, those who live lives of gratitude experience less stress, they have more energy, motivation, and confidence than their not so grateful counterparts.

Neuroscience of Gratitude

Would you like to experience less stress right now? Research in neuroscience has shown that gratitude reduces fear and anxiety by regulating the body’s stress hormones. In essence, gratitude enhances the production of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters responsible for happiness.

This in turn produces greater feelings of joy and contentment.

By practicing gratitude, you can strengthen these pathways and create a more permanent positive nature. Basically, you are rewiring your brain’s neuropathways.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all emotions.”  – Zig Ziglar

Gratitude and Resilience

Although the world has seen unprecedented times in history, there is no doubt that today’s world will be remembered as one of those eras.

If there was ever a time to grow in resiliency, it is now.

Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between gratitude and resilience. Gratitude fosters healthy coping mechanisms and enhances your emotional resilience while building inner strength.  It helps to ground you and keeps you solutions-oriented.

It gives you the power to combat the obstacles you encounter in life.

3 Ways to Nurture Gratitude

1. Write it Down

I encourage all my clients to journal. Why? Because journaling is life-changing; it is an activity that increases your self-awareness, taps into your subconscious mind, and optimizes creativity.

Rather than having two journals; one for gratitude and one for life, I encourage you to incorporate gratitude into your daily keystone habit of journaling. This keeps it simple.

Hopefully, you are or will be journaling after reading this. In your daily journaling, include the following:

  • Things you are grateful for
  • People you are grateful for
  • Resources available to you
  • Things you have learned from the challenges you are facing


2. Show it

Express gratitude to someone you know. Be mindful of opportunities that you can thank a family member, a co-worker, or the cashier at your local grocery store.

I know someone who buys gift cards and gives them randomly to people; police officers, UPS drivers, homeless people, firefighters – just as a small way to show gratitude.

I have a friend who made meals a few times a week for an exhausted emergency room physician during this pandemic.

As you look around at the world, you will find so many people to be grateful for.

3. Reflect at the End of Day

When I was younger, I used to think it was so cheesy when people would say, “Count your blessings before you go to bed.”  

I don’t think it’s cheesy anymore; it’s scientifically proven to promote healing, it’s energy-giving and helps me sleep. As your head hits the pillow, think about:

  • What went well in your day?
  • What inspired you today?
  • What can you take comfort in?

“God gave you 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank-you?” – William Arthur Ward

Thanks for listening to what was on my heart this week. I hope it encourages you to grow in gratitude and consequently be more at peace during these times.

We have work to do; the world needs our kindness and strength. Stay grateful and stay strong.

Make it a courageous day!
Keep believing,


Crisis Kit

I have created this anti-anxiety and anti-stress tool kit, proven by science, to help you reduce anxiety and stress. I guarantee you that if you implement some of these ideas and use these tools; you will navigate this uncertainty boat like a highly skilled Captain.

Rita Hudgens
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