Tag Archives: an attitude of gratitude

Spend Time Being Positive

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A while back Leslie posted about how we should spend some time remembering our past, in order to learn from it, but we should be careful not to dwell on the past–especially past pain, slights and hurts.  Dwelling on negative experiences can cause anger, depression, shame, anxiety and other unhealthy emotions.  In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul tells us what we should dwell on:

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

Have you heard the expression, “garbage in, garbage out”?  The original meaning is if we put inaccurate data into our computer, or equation, the answer we get will be equally wrong.  In the same way, if we spend time feeding our minds with regret over our own past mistakes, annoyance with the bad behavior of others, and anger about the things we don’t have that we deserve, what we get out of life will be equally unpleasant.  Nobody will enjoy being around us, and we’ll be unable to recognize the gifts that we have. On the other hand, if we focus on the positive aspects of our own personality, if we build others up instead of tearing them down, and are thankful for the many blessings we receive daily, we’ll soon develop an “attitude of gratitude.” We’ll appreciate ourselves and others and be thankful to God. Wouldn’t you rather focus on the positive?

 

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Practicing Gratitude

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I told you in a previous blog that being grateful is good for your physical, emotional and mental health.  Recently I ran across an article shared on Linked In that gave a 23 minute morning exercise that in 21 days would lead you to have a more positive attitude and outlook.  It could easily be adapted to have a Christian focus.  A way to practice gratitude.

  1. Spend 15 minutes exercising.  My addition … if you walk around your neighborhood, give thanks for the beauty of God’s creation.  Give thanks that you are able to walk, run, bend, reach, whatever type of exercise you choose.
  2. Spend 2 minutes meditating.  I suggest turning this part into what is called a “breath prayer.”  Breath slowly in and out, paying attention to your breathing and repeat a prayerful phrase — Lord have mercy, Jesus, my shepherd, or something similar.
  3. Think back over the preceding 24 hours and journal about a positive experience you had.  Give thanks for that. (3 minutes)
  4. Write a quick text, email or note encouraging someone. (3 min).

I haven’t been successful yet at doing this consistently, but I’m going to keep trying.  What about you?  Can you try this morning “gratitude” routine and let us know if it helps you develop an “attitude of gratitude”?