At this point I am unable to count how many times I have heard the word gratitude this week.
I went to a training last Thursday and the guy was talking about the power of gratitude.
I was listening to a live stream and the girl was talking about gratitude.
I went to church Sunday and the speaker talked about gratitude.
I was listening to a podcast and all of a sudden, they start talking about gratitude.
I could keep going with instances like this that happened all week.
Gratitude – the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
Let me also add that I heard another talk on gratitude between the writing on this blog post.
So clearly Jesus is trying to communicate something to me.
It’s no secret that I have dealt heavily with anxiety in the past. This has a lot to do with my need to perform and be successful. A major part of my personality, and an area that can be a strength or a weakness, is that I run off productivity, achievement and success.
Basically, if I am going to do something, I have to be the best. Going to graduate school – I have to have a 4.0.
Being a Program Coordinator – I have to have the best, most productive program.
Being a wife – I have to kill it every day.
Here’s the problem: I’m human. So, I don’t always get it right.
This tends to breed anxiety in my life.
But here is what I’m learning. Gratitude can instantly change my anxious mood.
I can go from freaking out to insanely happy just from stopping to think of very specific things I am grateful for.
Here’s an example from today:
- I’m thankful our A/C was fixed, and J and I slept much better last night.
- I’m super grateful my throat doesn’t hurt as bad today as it did yesterday.
- I’m grateful I get to go to the gym tonight with my husband.
- I’m thankful for really good coffee that I can get by walking down the street. I love walks.
- I’m grateful for my team at work who really pitched in and helped me a lot today.
That was just 5 things, and I already feel better.
It’s really easy to focus on the negative. I think that is why the Bible tells us, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always” (Philippians 4:8, TPT)
I like the part that says, “keep your thoughts continually fixed” because it shows us that this takes effort on our part. Keep your thoughts fixed – pay attention to your thoughts.
The mind is powerful and it can send you into a downward spiral fast if you let it.
Intentional gratitude helps this process. Intentional gratitude keeps your thoughts fixed on the good things – the God things.
So friends, give it a try – when you wake up, when you get anxious or stressed, before bed, or just when you have a minute to think, try to come up with 5 – 10 very specific things from that day you are grateful for, and watch it change your mindset.