What if there was a cure to stress so simple that it involved nothing more than feeling thankful for everything in your life? whether it be good or bad? truth or lies? fun or no fun? In fact, there is. That cure and healing only comes with a very grateful heart. It is called gratitude.
A dose of gratitude on a day to day basis will naturally transform your mood and day! What is it to be grateful? What should we be grateful for? Why should we be grateful for? how should we be grateful? To whom should we be grateful to?
Too many questions? right? :)
Well, I am not sure, if I am going to give an answer to all these questions. Probably you can answer it based on your circumstances. But, I am sure about one thing, that being grateful in all circumstances brings in harmony, peace, joy and love within ourselves and with each other.
There were many number of days where I forget or have not been very grateful. Never had a sitting time to think about what I am grateful for. There are days when I am so busy and unproductive. Always going around with this feeling of never getting anything done and way behind my schedule. Too many emotions crossing my thoughts throughout the day. Mixed Emotions, (sometimes negative, sometimes happy emotions) is my usual companion through out the day which I toss around in every directions, then reacting based on those emotions towards others. There is no steadiness or confidence in my approach with others. Sometimes I am so glad and has a positive vibe going on when I am with the usual crowd. But, there are other times, when I completely ignore them, as if they don't exist there, and does this on purpose. This two face-game I have been playing for a long time and sadly, became a part of my habit and these negative weeds started rooting and grew into wild things and I was not sure how to quit. Every time I find my escapism to a corner of my heart with my pity party self. It was an ongoing cycle which I had no control over or I didn't want to control those negative self. It Looked like I liked being alone with my pity-self.
If you ask me if I pray everyday? Yes, I pray, I go to church, I have a wonderful family and friends, I have a great job, everything is perfect, nothing is out of the norm, nobody has disturbed me out of my comfort zone. If somebody from outside looking at us would see this beautiful and wonderful family who has it all together. Yes its a wonderful life, but unfortunately, people never see the other side of our perfect family, the mind-battles we face everyday. The thoughts that take a hold of us and makes us feel depressed. The emotional baggage that we carry around all day and harbor in our thoughts which eventually starts showing in our attitude towards our loved ones and to others and everything else that comes in our way. I started seeing this stench and realized that this sick attitude had a hold of me, and I was not able to be fruitful the way God expected me to. That's when I decided that something needed to change in my life.
I was wondering aloud to God in my prayer time of what needed to change. And that's when it came to my heart -- to have a heart of gratitude and I believe it was God who put that beautiful thought in me and lead me to the verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 - Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
That's when I decided to make a gratitude list in my journal. All day long I thought about the things I was thankful for and what I wanted to add to my list. Little things and big things… Jesus, my family, children, friends, work, a fridge full of food, the trees, the flowers, the birds, the rain... etc.
Being grateful fills our cup. It helps us to be focused on more productive things in life and makes us more content. Being thankful helps us to spend our time wisely, without complaining, or whining and harboring negative thoughts. It blesses us to bloom where we are planted. We will stop coveting of what others have. Something beautiful starts happening within us when we start being thankful. Thankful to God and to everyone else around us.
That's when I started to realize that by the end of the day, I felt joyful and happy again. It was as if my mood and my day had been transformed. Things looked beautiful and brighter. Even in dull moments, it gives us a new hope and new prespective to hold onto. Even though I felt behind everything and unproductive, and the feeling of never catching up and never finishing on time, it was okay. Focusing all day long on my blessings had helped me replace the anxiety and discontentment with gratitude and joy.
I peter 5:7 - Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Heads up -- Just in case, you think, I make a gratitude list every day, no not everyday, although I wish I did. However, now I know what to do the next time my day (or week) seems to be going wrong. To jot down a list of things that I am thankful for. It is that simple! :)
It is not necessary that you have to write down on a paper or something. Simply making a list in your head (and your heart!) can do wonders for your mood and your day.
Choosing to be grateful all day long will help you put your heart focused on God, helps you to be calm and poise and in a “prayerful” state of mind.
Four tips I would love to share with you to make a gratitude list is:
1: Once you make the list, make it a point to read and thank God for each and everything on that list.
2: Share your gratitude list with someone you are comfortable with, It can help and encourage them to make one of their own too. It keeps us accountable with each other.
3: Sometimes posting your list where you can see it instead of putting your list away in a journal, will help you remind of all the blessings that God has blessed you with. Every time you see the list is a good reminder to be thankful for. Post it in plain sight, in words or in pictures. Which ever is helpful for you.
4: Always choose to see the best in every situation. Even if things or people don't make sense or don't go the way we planned. Make it a point to see the good in it. Seek the good of others. No one is perfect. Everyone has their own personalities and baggages they are carrying and we may not understand why certain people or things have to behave or be that way. Let it be.
Let God take control of those misfortunate things, You keep thanking God in ALL circumstances! Keep your focus on Jesus. Keep your heart sincere towards him. Keep your peace, faith and hope going in him. Don't try to please anyone except God. Do his will. Be thankful. Enjoy God, life and the people whom God placed in your life. Sometimes we might not like it or want it, but know that they are all placed in our lives for a reason and God wants us to get the best in us, when we humble and be thankful for all things and people. Gratitude begins within us and let it shine where ever you go and May it bring Glory and honor to God alone. :)
I realize that this post is a very simple post, probably something you already know about. But seriously, writing a gratitude list works wonders! It is a life saver! It empties all our negativity and we will always feel SO MUCH better after thinking of all the beautiful blessings God has given us.
Please, next time you are feeling overwhelmed or down, make a gratitude list, give it a try… it will transform your mood and your day if you let it! You will have a calm assurance from the Lord.
Colossians 3:15-17 - And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Finally, what I have to remind myself is that there is always, always something to be thankful for. With this, I have come to the end of my thoughts on gratitude. I would love to know what you think of being grateful or Have you ever made a gratitude list before? Comment your thoughts below. :)
article by Ms. Rof ©
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