“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
There are days that I wake up a grump. The weather is dreary, the same mundane tasks seem endless, and I have a heavy head from a wakeful sleep the night before. Have you been there? I’m sure we all have! This ungrateful mindset can be a trap that not only ruins your day but also the people who cross your path. If we are only focusing on the difficult parts of the day, we are missing out on all of the beautiful blessings placed in our lives that day. We are in control of either casting a stone that ripples negativity amongst those around us, or emitting a stone that spreads light and happiness to people placed in your path. If you catch yourself starting your day in an unappreciative way, break the cycle of negativity and try one of these practices to switch your day from a thankless day to a day filled with joy and gratitude.
Be Mindful of Negative Thoughts and Comments
I am sure all of us can think of many times when we have been bad-tempered and crabby. We are all imperfect humans after all! A tip to try to minimize these negative habits is to be aware of any ungrateful thoughts and comments that enter and exit our minds daily. The easiest thing to do is to allow a negative thought to ruin your entire day and have power over you. Negative thoughts can run like a hamster around a wheel, they scuttle around and around your brain until before you know it, you’ve been fixating on an irritant all day. Allowing yourself to spend the energy and time focusing on something negative, also allows all of the precious gifts placed in our paths to be missed. But if we stop negative thoughts from soaking in our minds by not giving them the time of day, this will keep us from fixating on them. Focus your thoughts on things that are beautiful and true and in return you will be filled with a grateful outlook. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).
Write a List of Gifts You Are Thankful For
A quick way to get rid of an ungrateful attitude is to write a list of blessings in your life that you are thankful for. So many blessings are overlooked when we go through the motions day to day. But if we stop to think about them and thank God for them, it allows us to be reminded how truly blessed we are. I typically like to do this in the morning so I can start my day with a grateful attitude but anytime in the day works, too. Writing a list of blessings we are thankful for allows us to focus on all the good in our lives and forget about any disgruntled feelings. If you don’t have time to write a list, you can practice thanking God for the little blessings you experience as your day moves along. When I hop in the shower, I might whisper, “Thank you Lord for a hot shower”, or when I snuggle in bed for the night I often think and pray, “Thank you Lord for a warm, cozy bed”. This allows us to not only live in the present but have a grateful attitude for all of the blessings, big and small, that God has blessed us with that are often overlooked.
Stop Comparing Your Life to Others
It is so easy to focus on everything you don’t have when it seems everyone is flaunting what they do have on social media. Although there are so many great aspects about social media there are also plenty of downfalls. It can be easy to compare your life to other’s lives through the lens of their photos. Nobody has a perfect life, even though it may seem others do by looking at their social media page. It is important to be happy for those around you but also remind yourself that people are posting the highlights of their lives ,and for the most part, not their hardships. So as best you can, try not to focus on what everyone else has but on the beautiful gifts placed in your life.
There are many annoyances and hardships that can bring down our attitudes each day. By complaining and focusing on them, it only allows these irritants to multiply in our mind and extend into our interactions with family and friends. This creates a ripple effect of negativity into our lives but also those close to us. To prevent ourselves from wasting precious days on being grumpy, try writing a list of blessings you are thankful for, be mindful of negative thoughts and comments, and try not to compare your life to others. By adding these simple practices into your day to day, you will be on track towards each day being filled with gratitude and happiness!
Check out my blog post “How to Keep a Vibrant Prayer Life When You Have No Time” here.
Hope this post helps bring joy and gratitude into your everyday!