I am convinced of the power of a gratefulness. Last week I became even more aware of this concept as I talked to my manicurist. I have a standing appointment with her every Wednesday where I take the time reflect on my week and just breath. There are times when I close my eyes and rest for a few minutes. Other times we chat about small stuff, and every once in a while we connect on a deeper level. I never plan what each Wednesday will be like, they just happen. We’ve got to know each other well over the last five years. She’s been part of my life outside of the salon as well. She has celebrated weddings, babies being born, and success. She’s also been a listening ear as I mother a child with mental illness. I have always appreciated the authentic feedback she provides.
Last Wednesday was no different. I started talking about my boys and their genuine gratitude for the simplest things. She filed my nails and asked, “Your boys have always been so grateful, what about your child with mental illness, is she grateful too?” “No,” I replied. It was sobering to think about the truth of my response.
Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 1:21). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Ungratefulness leads to futile thinking and foolish hearts. Where gratefulness overcomes pride, entitlement, and self-pity. Research indicates that individuals who practice gratitude live healthier, happier, and less stressful lives. Does this mean that gratefulness cures mental illness? Of course not. What I am suggesting is that gratefulness will make our lives better no matter who we are or what we’re suffering from.
How do we experience the power of gratitude in our lives?
Surround yourself with people who encourage you to live abundantly grateful.
Get plenty of rest.
Add a dose of sunshine to your day.
Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a few moments each day.
Cultivate gratitude for the small things in life.
Jot down 5-10 things that you are grateful for each day.
Do a word study on gratefulness in your personal devotions.
Look for opportunities to serve others.
Replace negative thoughts with a positive affirmation instead.
Do you have anything to add to the list? I would love to hear your suggestions too. Don’t forget the importance of practicing gratefulness each day. Make sure you invite a friend to join you on this journey. Gratefulness between friends is contagious.