Mark Twain once said “comparison is the destroyer of joy.” Most of us live our lives where food is abundant, big screens are common, and everyone has a mini-computer in their pocket. Yet we find ourselves shackled with anxiety, depression, poor health, and discontentment. We are continually surrounded by blessings yet our materialistic and consumer driven culture has taken our joy. All too often people compare themselves with others instead of focusing on being thankful. Social media perpetuates this comparison as people post their curated lives and on lookers compare themselves. Guilt, depression, and anxiety are the result. Comparison will ultimately rob your presence, your power, and your joy. What if there was a simple, effective, and proven method for restoring our joy? What if there were a way to restore power, wisdom, and creativity to our lives? What if that method impacted your soul, your physical and mental health? The solution is simply being grateful. In a busy society this timeless solution restores joy.
Practicing gratitude and thankfulness for the blessings that surround us every hour of every day will unlock our power to choose happiness and restore our joy. This solution is too easy and too basic for most of us to believe. In fact it is so old it is new again. This simple answer cuts through the complexity of modern culture. Studies have shown a link between this positive emotion and: better heart health, better immune system, better sleep, better relationships, and better emotional health. In the bible Philippians 4:6-8 tells us to not be anxious… rather with thanksgiving in our hearts to pray to the Lord. It tells us to focus our hearts and minds on what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and whatever is praiseworthy. Focus, pray, choose to be thankful. It all sounds so easy! It is and it’s also easy to ignore. When we forget to be grateful in each moment, we lose. We lose presence in the moment and our heart is suppressed. We lose the power to be happy and to love fully. We lose the power to be healthy in our body, mind and spirit. When we lose, we become anxious about what will be instead of thankful for what is. We are blinded from God’s divine love, wisdom, and design for us.
What can you do?
- Journal: Take time each day to write a sentence or two about what you are most thankful for.
- Pray: We are wired to focus and connect with our creator. He promises that if will be grateful and come to Him… He will give us peace.
- Focus: Be intentional about finding reasons to be thankful. Small things. Large things. People. Relationships. Experiences. You have so many!
- Remind: Set up simple reminders to help you focus. Maybe it’s a blue sticky note around the house. Every time you see it you take a second to think of something you are grateful for. Maybe it is a rubber band on your wrist. A certain time of every day. Every time you hear your kids laughing. Pick something to help you.
- Choose: Nothing just happens. You have to practice and make a choice. Whether you are saving money, getting healthy, working on your relationship, studying hard for a degree, waking up early to pray, or being grateful.. nothing just happens. Make this simple and effective choice to be grateful
Practicing these suggestions will make gratefulness a habit. When it becomes a habit it will change your health and impact your life. Life is good… be thankful for it.