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12- The Power of GRATITUDE

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
   His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
   His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
   His faithful love endures forever.

– Psalm 136

A great habit to have in your life is thinking about all the things for which you’re thankful. It only takes about two minutes a day and can have a profound impact on your life. You’ll feel happier and attract more things to be grateful about.

Gratitude serves as a reminder of all the good things in your life. If you’re focusing on good things, life just feels better. But it goes beyond the short amount of time that you spend thinking about the things that make your grateful; it permeates your whole outlook on life.

Gratitude makes the bad things better. If work has gotten you down, think about the aspects of your job for which you’re grateful. You’ll be surprised how your attitude and feelings change when you focus for a few minutes on the positive aspects of something that you don’t feel great about at the moment.

Gratitude helps you see the big picture. It will remind of what’s most important, whether it be your family, friends, church, hobbies, or something else. It’s a lot easier to deal with a grumpy boss when you remind yourself of your beautiful children and the fact that you’re healthy. These are much more important to you than his grumpiness.

Get in the habit of saying thank you. Be grateful for things and you’ll receive more things for which you can be grateful.

Be thankful for the negative stuff, too. The Bible says it this way:

“Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

We are all much more than we would’ve become because of the negative things that we’ve experienced along the way. Think about the challenges you’re having now and try to see the good in them.

If you feel overworked, you’re being given the chance to learn how to organize and prioritize your work. If you’re having a health challenge, perhaps you’re being forced to diet and exercise properly for the first time ever. We grow the most when under some sort of duress.

Cultivating gratitude is being focused on the good parts of your life. It will help with your optimism and help you to see the potential advantages of the challenges that you’re currently facing.

Both Berkley and Harvard have published ‘blind’ studies where mental health patients were asked to write letters of gratitude as part of their therapy. They were asked to write a letter of gratitude per week for the first four weeks. The group of patients who completed the tasks were significantly better than those who did not! Not only that, but they reported feeling better many weeks later! Gratitude works.

Let’s Bounce Back

Have a daily gratitude session. Take 2-3 minutes on your way to work or on the way home. Ask yourself what you’re grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, then ask yourself what you COULD be grateful for. Let’s write down 8-10 things…

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