Why Gratefulness is the Simple Habit that Can Change Everything.
The world, and most of our lives, have changed a lot in the last few months. Shocking headlines pop up in our news feeds regularly. There are certainly some very serious things happening, and maybe the title of this post seems strange when there’s so much to worry about. But that is why gratefulness matters so much in our current state. The world is changing, but we can focus our own attitudes so that even when it does, we remain peaceful.
Each year, I choose a word, just one word, to focus on. This year, my word is gratefulness. Maybe it’s an odd choice with our world rushing towards more chaos by the day. Yet, history is full of people who endured hardships and were able to be grateful anyway.
Why is that? Perhaps these people knew what I’m only just starting to realize. They understood how to look beyond what was right in front of them. Gratitude doesn’t have much to do with our circumstances, but it has everything to do with who God is.
I don’t mean to diminish the difficulties the world faces right now. However, illness and uncertainty do not change the character of God any more than me saying that the sky is green makes it a reality. And if that’s so, and you are a person of faith, then gratefulness to Him still matters. Maybe even more than usual.
Colossians 3:15 states, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Thankfulness and being grateful are not things we do when everything is perfect. They’re daily habits that motivate us and others. They focus us outward on the world around us.
How to Start a Gratefulness Habit
Maybe it sounds good to be more thankful, but you don’t know where to start. If you want to make gratefulness a part of your life, here’s some easy ways to do that.
Name 5 things you’re grateful for when you wake up.
Beginning your day by focusing on what you’re grateful for can change your whole outlook. If you think you won’t remember, set a reminder with your phone alarm. Then, before doing anything else, list things that bring thankfulness to your heart. Family, friends, a job, or beautiful weather are all excellent places to start, but you’ll probably think of a lot more.
When something discouraging happens, immediately think of the positives.
Many difficult things that we face each day are just minor setbacks. When you are faced with a discouraging situation, remind yourself of the silver lining. (Example: “It’s okay that I got off work late, because now I’m caught up on paperwork, so I’m thankful for that.” If you face a situation where there honestly seems to be no good, you can always look to other, more positive areas of your life and be grateful for those.
Think of others.
To put yourself in a thankful frame of mind, find someone else who might need help finding the positive. Do something to encourage someone else, or make their day brighter, and then you’re both able to be more grateful.
I haven’t tried a gratitude journal yet, but I hear they’re great. Templates and journal books are available everywhere. If you want to easily focus your mind on positivity, why not start here?
I want to challenge you to make gratefulness a habit this week. I know it might be difficult, but we can be in it together. We can choose happiness and peace. We can choose to appreciate the grace and love of God, and thank Him for His presence, no matter what.
Since book suggestions are always on my mind, here’s one to help cultivate an attitude of gratefulness: The Power of Being Thankful (Joyce Meyer) For more book suggestions, check out my post, Books to Read Before You’re 30. Have a fantastic day!