Thankful for what?
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and you know what that means…time to answer the question, what are you thankful for this year. As answers get thrown out around the table, it’s your turn and you think…thankful for what…
For that bill that I don’t know how to pay.
For the sleepless nights with my newborn.
For the critique on the food I spent all day cooking.
For the headache from my screaming toddler.
The list could probably go on and on.
Even when things may be generally going well, that one thing, that hurdle, that tough season, is making it difficult to see where the good even is. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like human nature to block out all the good things to hyper fixate on the one or five things going wrong. However…
Gratitude is a choice we make everyday.
There’s not a day I wake up when the first thing I do is start running through the day’s to-do list, and instead of being grateful that I woke up in a home with my family, I’m annoyed about all I have to accomplish that day.
This is not the way to live. You cling on to that low point or that intrusive thought and you keep swimming down with it. Before you know it, you’ve had a bad day by the end of breakfast.
Enough. Make the conscious effort to be grateful several times throughout the day.
Start the moment you open your eyes
If you’re a religious person, start by thanking God for allowing you experience another day, no matter what lies ahead. Remind yourself that whatever anxiety comes your way that “his mercies are new each morning.” Use your faith to encourage your thankfulness.
If you’re not a religious person, you still want to begin your day with the proper attitude. Try journaling and use it as a way to write down what is going right in your life before you begin to think about the negatives. If you are someone who needs more of a prompt to write with, there are some great Gratitude Journals that have prompts already there. Find what works for you.
The important thing for all of us is that before we even think about checking Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or heaven forbid…the NEWS, you begin your day with positive thoughts, and personal reflection about all you have to be grateful for.
Throughout the Day
Take a couple seconds several times throughout your day and make a mental note of something you’re grateful for.
I’m grateful my toddler just ate his lunch.
I’m grateful the dog didn’t pee in the house today.
I’m grateful I did NOT have to do any laundry today.
Whatever those little moments of gratitude are, be cognizant of them. It will help you remember all the little things that are going well instead of spending all day focusing on the stressors in your life.
This is where I struggle to remember anything. By the time I’m preparing for bed, all I’m thinking about is if I hurry to get ready, I can be in bed scrolling through TikTok quicker - never taking the time to reflect on the day.
For you, this may be a good time to find yourself back in prayer. Reflect on those moments of gratefulness from the day and thank God for the good things He’s provided you that day.
Or you may find yourself back in your journal, writing down both the ups and the downs of the day and how you’ve handled it all.
Whichever way or method you choose, spend a couple minutes BEFORE you open your phone for your nighttime scroll to reflect on the day. Clear your mind and be at peace before you sleep.
Gratitude is a choice. It is not something to be done one day while sitting around a dinner table. To ease our stressed out minds and troubled spirits, we MUST make time for gratitude. Every. Single. Day.
So tomorrow, enjoy your turkey, pig out on pie, and remember to be thankful everyday.
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