Running a day late with this post, but still on track with my schedule for the Positivity Project!
Over the past week, I’ve been focusing on gratitude in order to progress towards a mindset of positivity.
My three goals this week were:
- Three items of gratitude for one negative thought/attitude – Anytime I am tempted to have a negative outlook on something or have a negative thought, I am going to list (in my head or on paper, depending on what I’m doing) three things I am grateful for.
- Morning and evening prayers of gratitude – As I’m praying each morning and evening (which I try to do already), I will start off each prayer by thanking the Lord for at least five ways that I’ve seen him richly bless my life.
- Increased gratitude to others – I am going to be more conscious of those who regularly or occasionally show great love to me by showing my gratitude in a variety of ways. This could be a small gift with a brief card, a longer thank-you card, or simply just saying out loud, “hey, thank you for what you do for me.” Not only will this remind me of how deeply I am loved by others, but it will make them feel loved and appreciated as well.
This was an extremely beneficial week. Even though I would say I did not meet my goals 100%, it did totally change my overall mindset to look for the things that I’m grateful for, instead of focusing on what’s wrong with a situation.
Simply flipping a negative thought into items of gratitude could completely change my mood about a situation. For instance, as I was at work last week, I thought, “man I’m really tired. I can’t wait for this to be over.” I caught myself in that mindset, and instantly thought of three things: (1) I’m grateful to be in this beautiful room with natural light coming in through the window; (2) I’m thankful for the opportunity to work part-time and provide a little extra income for my family; (3) I’m thankful for a chance to utilize my skills and training, and to spend a few hours doing something that is professionally fulfilling.
All of the sudden, my frustrations and focus on wanting to be home to rest were changed into gratitude for the situation I was given in the moment.
I also loved the aspect of focusing on adding more gratitude into my morning and evening prayers. How easy is it to go to the Lord in prayer, and just immediately start on your list of needs and wants? Intentionally listing 5 items of gratitude first made me remember all of the ways that the Lord has already answered my prayers. It’s made me see his faithfulness in an even bigger way, because I’m intentionally calling to mind the ways that he is endlessly blessing me. While it’s definitely never wrong to bring your needs to God, be intentional about also thanking him for all the ways that he is richly providing for you daily.
Increasing gratitude to others has really reminded me of all the ways I’m blessed through the kindness of other people. Not only has it helped me remember their kindness, but also to verbally thank them for it. Expressing gratitude to those who care for you and serve you is extremely important. Even when it’s something that you feel like they ought to do anyway (for instance, your husband taking out the trash), thanking them for it causes almost no effort, and shows great love and care for your spouse.
Being intentional about gratitude is something that I plan to continue; it has really made a difference, and was a great first step in this project. Tomorrow, I will introduce details on what I’m doing for Week 2!