Follow These 6 Tips to Begin Your Own Gratitude Journey

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Last week I shared why practicing gratitude has a positive influence on our lives. Today I’d like to share some practical ways you can do this. Often it’s not lack of knowledge that causes us to not do something; it’s because we have no idea how to implement change into our lives. Use these recommendations as a place to begin your own gratitude journey.

Write in a Journal

Journaling is something I practice (almost) daily. Usually, I write down a scripture I read that spoke to me, or I’ll write out a prayer that is heavy in my heart. Simply by journaling, I have found this shifts my mindset towards gratitude. I have gone back and re-read some of my thoughts, especially the ones during particularly tough times. Almost every time I have found something to be grateful for during that rough patch in my own life.

Make Gratitude a Family Habit

Practice being thankful as a family. I’m grateful for my middle – I call her Goosey-girl. When I’m complaining or in a grumpy mood, she’ll tell me. Not in a mean way, simply “Wow, Mom, you’re really grumpy today”. It’s good for me. It’s like the kick in the pants I needed to remind me how much my children are watching me. Practicing gratitude as a family not only keeps you in a positive mindset but teaches your children there is always something to be thankful for. We will often do this on the way home from school or during dinner time. I like to ask my kids what happened in their day that was positive or made them laugh. It’s amazing to watch their faces light up as they remember the good things about their day.

Write Thank You Notes

Begin a weekly practice of writing thank you notes to people in your life who have had a positive effect on you. You can also send a quick text or an email too if you prefer that approach. There is nothing like receiving an unexpected kindness from someone. It not only changes you for sending it but also changes them for receiving it.

Share Gratitude on Social Media

This one should actually be really easy, considering how much negativity and complaining is done on social media. There are many “Gratitude Challenges” on social media. I see them often, especially this time of year. Begin your own gratitude challenge. For 1 week share something every day that you are thankful for. If that’s too difficult (and there’s nothing wrong with that if it is) start with one thankful post a day. It’s not about perfection, it’s simply about taking that first step.

Display Quotes Around Your Home

This is one of my favorite ways to practice gratitude. I like to hang up scriptures around my home, to remind me that no matter what is taking place in my life, I always have something to be thankful for – my relationship with God. You can do the same thing. Write out Bible verses that speak to you and remind you to be grateful. You can always do a google search for “thankful quotes” and choose a few of those to display in your home. The possibilities here are endless.

Confront the Situation, but Find Something Good in Spite of It

There are situations in our life where it can be downright difficult to be thankful. Death of a loved one, loss of a job, struggles with special needs children, or a chronic illness diagnosis, for example. Being thankful and ignoring what is happening will not do you any good. Finding something to be thankful for in the middle of your circumstances does your heart a world of good. In these situations, nothing is too small to be thankful for. “I was able to get out of bed today” or “I’m thankful for that cup of coffee every morning”. Our family has experienced every single one of these circumstances. Was it easy to be thankful? No. It did help us keep our perspective when life seemed to be throwing us one curveball after another.

How do you practice gratitude? I would love for you to share with us over in my group, Choosing JOY.

 

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3 Reasons Practicing Gratitude Undoubtedly Influences Your Mindset

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(This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.)

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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