3 Reasons Practicing Gratitude Undoubtedly Influences Your Mindset

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Most of us know that gratitude can be a powerful vaccine against a negative mindset. There are countless studies on how being thankful has a positive effect on your body and a positive effect on your mind. The problem is we don’t practice it (I’m talking to myself here too).

Why is it so difficult to practice something that can bring us greater joy?

Reminding ourselves why gratitude is medicine for our mindset gives us plenty of motivation to make it part of our daily life.

Gratitude Shifts Your Attention

When we practice gratitude we are automatically focusing on the positive parts of our life rather than the negative. It’s not about dismissing the negative or not confronting the problems we encounter. It’s about purposefully choosing to remind ourselves of the good things in our life. This is especially helpful if you are prone to negativity (like I am!). My mindset already leans heavily towards thoughts of negativity, problems, and “gloom and doom”, that I NEED something to pivot myself back to a positive mindset.

Gratitude Provides Solutions

Think about this. If I’m constantly focusing on the problem – how it affects me, how it’s interrupting my life, how it’s ruined my day – there is a good chance I will not find a solution. By being grateful for what’s happening in my day, rather than being grumpy about everything that is going wrong, gratitude keeps my mind open to possible solutions. Honestly, there may not be a solution to the particular problem I am struggling with that day. I may be going through something that has no “end in view”. Either way, gratitude will help me see how I can thrive in spite of that problem, not be miserable because of it.

Gratitude is Viral

Have you ever been around someone who can always find something to be thankful for? I have and let me tell you I loved spending time with her. She was like the sun shining through a cloudy day. I knew, if I was having a bad day, simply chatting with her could change my whole perspective. Being thankful is a virus. It spreads rapidly simply by being around it. When I am in a terrible mood and complaining about everything, guess what? My family takes on that negative behavior or they simply don’t want to be around me. When I do my best to find something, anything, to be grateful for, it changes the whole attitude in my home.

Do you find it difficult to practice gratitude? I’m right there with you. This is not something that comes easy for me, nor is it in my nature. When practiced, I have found it changes my mindset and helps me see the wonderful life I really do have.

Looking for a place where you will be surrounded by hope and encouragement? Join my group, Choosing JOY, a safe and supportive place for women who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

 

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Follow These Steps to Change Your Mindset

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What is a mindset? Dictionary.com describes mindset as “a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations”. Whew, that’s a lot of words, but it so accurately explains the idea of a mindset. Basically, it’s a pre-determined attitude or opinion I have of something, which is NOT easily changed.

Why do we need to change our mindset? There are many reasons why. Many of us have grown up with attitudes, opinions, and habits that are unhealthy and downright harmful to our lives. A negative mindset can be dangerous to our relationships, especially those with our spouses or children.

There are many different ways to change your mindset, but today I’m going to share 3 ways that have helped me personally.

Practice Gratitude

pinterest-ad-1I spoke about practicing gratitude in my Facebook Live this week. Being thankful automatically turns your focus from negative to positive. You can’t help but be reminded of all the good things happening in your life when you’re listing all the things you’re grateful for.

Action Step: Make a Top 10 list of what you’re thankful for. To help make more of an impact on your attitude, choose 1 topic and list 10 things you’re thankful for. For instance, let’s say you’re struggling at your job. List 10 items you’re grateful for about your place of work.

Do for Others

Doing something for others will turn your focus completely around. It will keep you from focusing on the challenging season of your current life situation. This is also something that will be difficult to practice. Who feels like helping someone else when they’re life is out of control? Trust me though, it works wonders.

Action Step: Find someone in your community – a friend at church, a fellow parent at your child’s school or a co-worker that could use some encouragement. Take them out for coffee or dinner. Write a note complimenting them on a job well done or thanking them for how they’ve influenced your life. Come up with an idea of your own. Be creative and help someone else.

Read, Read, Read!!!!

This has been a game-changer for me when it comes to changing my mindset. For me, reading the Bible is huge! This is the only way I can truly change my mindset from focusing on all the negative in my life to allowing God to use my life for His purpose. There are also many books I’ve read that have encouraged and inspired me in different areas of my life – marriage, friendships, business, parenting, Christian life, and so on. My husband, who was a minister for 20 years, has read a number of books in order to grow spiritually and learn how to help others.

Action Step: Choose a book to read that will positively influence your life. Challenge yourself to read one chapter a day until you’ve completed it. If you’re a Jesus-follower, read your Bible daily. Make it easier for yourself by reading a devotional book or following a Bible reading plan.

What strategies do you use to change your mindset?

 

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To learn more about changing your mindset, join me for my newest online course, 5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety. Pre-order now for the reduced price of $97 (regular price $147). This course will be available January 1.

 

 

 

 

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