It is vital for our spiritual and mental health to pause, reflect and give thanks (and not just on the 4th Thursday of November). Here are some reminders on why and how we can have an attitude of gratitude.
-Gratitude helps us stay in the present. When we’re focused on things we can give thanks for today, we’re not living in the past or worried about the future.
-Gratitude helps us avoid negative thinking, which when left unchecked, leads to negative emotions. You can’t be grateful and envious at the same time.
-Gratitude increases our resistance to stress. Grateful people tend to bounce back more quickly from adversity.
-Gratitude increases our sense of self-worth. Grateful people recognize the contributions others have made to their lives, and this transforms the way they see themselves.
-Three ways to cultivate gratitude
1. Keep a gratitude journal. According to one report, “People are 25 percent happier and more energetic if they keep gratitude journals, have 20 percent less envy and resentment, sleep 10 percent longer each night and wake up 15 percent more refreshed, exercise 33 percent more, and show a 10 percent drop in blood pressure compared to persons who are not keeping these journals.”
2. Count your blessings on a regular basis. Similar to keeping a gratitude journal, without writing everything down. This can be done in the morning, in the evening, and all throughout the day. It’s the application of the “give thanks in everything” verse.
3. Use visual reminders. This might seem like the training wheels of gratitude, but it can be quite helpful. We tend to take things for granted. Worse, we tend to take God for granted. Simple reminders, like putting Scripture verses in places we’ll regularly see them, can prompt us to be grateful. Some people like to drop notes of gratitude in a “gratitude jar.” And simply seeing friends and loved ones can remind us to be grateful. The point is to do whatever helps us recognize and appreciate our many blessings.
Take time to count your blessings and name them one by one. You will be thankful that you did.
Giving thanks for each of you,