Simply naming what you are grateful for can change everything.
Posted in , Nov 21, 2015
Psychologists have found that simply asking people to identify specific aspects of their lives for which they are thankful, alters their perspective in a powerful way. A grateful perspective impacts our mood and stops us from allowing negative thoughts such as resentment, envy and regret to take over.
When we take a moment to appreciate the good things in life such as a job, home, friends, and family, we feel good about the present and hopeful for the future. The list of what makes an individual appreciative varies from person to person. But the key for all people is to prevent the bad things from getting in the way of the good things. Even in tough times, if we look hard enough, we can find the good.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
Research has proven that jotting down positive events can cultivate gratitude in our lives. After doing this myself, I found that expanding the list to include positive people, experiences and all other things that I am truly thankful for, has increased my positive outlook by far. I suggest you do the same. A biblical proverb states, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
There are many ways to cultivate gratitude: writing, praying, singing, drawing and more. In Psalm 103:2 it says, "Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me." What good things has the Lord done for you? Please share what you are thankful for and make every day a day of Thanksgiving.
Lord, thank you for the joy that fills our hearts when we think of all the good in our lives. Help us to make gratitude a daily practice.