“Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” C.K.Chesterson
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1
Are you sick and tired of the tediousness of the COVID restrictions? Are you feeling worn down being a teleworker who is restricted to your living space? Are you struggling in your role as a homeschooler? And if you live alone, how are you managing the solitude of this sequestration?
Though these past several months have been tough for all of us, I want to give you a dose of hope, a tool that might help lighten your load.
WARNING! This process is so simple you could miss it entirely, particularly if you are feeling overwhelmed.
It is a process that is as old as humanity and, yes, as fresh and the morning sun.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways to use gratitude as a powerful stress buster.
Gratitude is the thankful appreciation of things received, whether tangible or intangible. It helps you and me connect with something outside of ourselves, often transcendent and more extensive than we are. Being grateful for people and other blessings not only makes me thankful, but it also helps rewire my brain to be more optimistic.
Expressing gratitude is probably the most effective way to push fear, anxiety, and sadness out of your mind and replace it with good things.
Here are four benefits of actively expressing gratitude.
- Thankfulness will boost your immune system helping your body fight off infection.
- Gratitude significantly lowers your risk of causing or amplifying mental health issues.
- A thankful of attitude strengthens you when you are under stress.
- Thankfulness develops your personal resilience and helps you flourish when others fail.
So what are some things you can begin doing today to build your resilience, improve your health and lower your stress? While you are learning to increase your own sense of gratitude, I promise you it will also make others feel better.
Here are 5 ways you can use gratitude as a powerful stress buster.
Jot Down Your Joys
In our digital age, many of us have allowed our penmanship to go the way of the Dodo bird. By doing that, we could be losing one of the best ways to manage our emotions and keep ourselves centered.
Ready? Begin with a list.
- One place that is safe and relaxes you
- One thing that is going well in your life/family
- Three things that bring you joy and pleasure
- Three things you are looking forward to
- Two people who you love and who love you
Make You Mealtimes more Mindful.
When was the last time you took a moment to observe the bounty on your table? For centuries grace before meals has been a ritualized way of pausing and expressing gratitude for the meal place before us.
This is one that I grew up with: Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
And the standby children’s classic, “God is great, God is good, Let us thanks to him for our food; By his hand, we are be fed, Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.
British author and lay theologian C.K.Chesterton says it best. “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in ink.
Count Blessing instead of Sheep.
We all know that counting our blessings instead of Sheep sounds incredible. Research regarding expressing gratitude before going to bed ensures more restful sleep.
Stop and Savor
One of the most accessible tools we use as we continue to look at ways to regain our vision and overcome depression is to savor pleasant memories, past answers to prayer; a meaningful Scripture verse; and positive, meaningful words spoken to you. When we purposefully reflect on these types of good, positive things, our brains begin to move toward health.
Individuals who practice gratitude are:
- More generous and helpful
- More likely to offer emotional support to others
- More likely to share their wealth and resources with others
- More willing to forgive others
Lord knows, if ever there was a time when these traits are needed, it is now.
Call to action:
Honesty, if you feel stuck a little overwhelmed and are thinking about getting some help, call me at 505-343-2011 or email me. I am a Work-Life Consultant and therapist, and I offer a brief consultation.
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