1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
With the Thanksgiving Holiday right around the corner, it isn't unusual to see many folks in the blogosphere and on Facebook extolling the virtues of living life with an active sense of gratitude. My Christian blogging friend, Deb Wolf, at Counting My Blessings is devoting the month of November to how being thankful can bring us closer to God.
In a recent post, Deb challenges her readers to keep a gratitude journal, writing down seven things each day for which we are grateful. I decide right away to take her up on it, and I can't tell you how rewarding this practice has already been for me.
And easy! But I must admit - the easy part is because I've been cultivating a Gratitude Attitude in my life for many years. Not a day goes by when I don't give God thanks for even the littlest of kindnesses and pleasures that make me smile.
However, for some of you, who may be going through some discouraging and disappointing times, a Gratitude Attitude is probably not high on your priority list. Bogged down by stresses, worries, fears, or _______________ (You fill in the blank.), being thankful in such circumstances seems nigh impossible.
But take heart! According to a November 2014 article in Forbes by psychologist, Amy Morin, the seven scientific benefits of a thankful attitude are too empowering to ignore. They are as follows:
- Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
- Gratitude improves physical health.
- Gratitude improves psychological health.
- Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
- Grateful people sleep better.
- Gratitude improves self-esteem.
- Gratitude increases mental strength.
Who wouldn't want any and all of these?
Are you ready to join Deb and me in beginning to write a daily gratitude journal? Not sure where to start? Here's a super list of suggestions Deb gives to get us moving and help us stay motivated:
- Who was kind to you today?
- What did you enjoy doing today?
- Who helped you today?
- Who did you help?
- What is the best thing that happened today?
- What simple thing made today a good day?
- What did you learn today?
- Who made you smile today? What did they do?
- What did you learn from a bad experience?
- How did technology make your life easier?
- Who made you feel important today?
- Who or what made you happy today?
- What was your favorite taste, smell, touch, sight, or sound from the day?
- What do you like about your neighborhood?
- Who forgave you? Who did you forgive?
- What did you do today you couldn't do yesterday?
- Who thanked you today? How did it make you feel?
- Who loves you? Who do you love?
- Where did you see God at work today?
- What are you most thankful for today?
Great tips, wouldn't you agree? Thanks, Deb, for inspiring me and others in nurturing a Gratitude Attitude in our lives.
And may we keep this journal not just in the month of November, but all year round!