Gratitude is a powerful way to invest in your future — in what you want to see in the world.
When I see clients with mind that is gracious and a heart that is giving, I notice that they are able to adjust stressful mindsets, and even mental health issues like anxiety and depression, much more quickly. When someone is focused on what is “right” (that which is good) in their life, they tend to get more of it. When you clog your thoughts with negative attitudes, and choose to see the world from a negative bent, whether politically- or relationally-driven, that becomes the world you experience. What we focus on fills our lives.
Of course, there are also always circumstances outside our control. Life can be incredibly stressful; mental health issues can make adjusting your mindset near impossible without support. Have grace with yourself; you don’t have to get this perfectly, and you don’t have to do it alone. But no matter your level of health or life circumstances, we can all benefit from working to see the world more positively (just go easy on yourself if that’s a difficult task!). The challenge is to look for what is good in the world and in your life, and let that become what you see. Push those good things to the front of your perspective. Gratitude can be a fantastic tool in that process. To be grateful actually changes your brain chemistry! Investing in positive thoughts, in gratefulness, and in a positive mental fixation actually leads to greater brain health.
This season of thankfulness, challenge yourself and those around you to practice gratitude, not just around the thanksgiving dinner table — but every day.
“If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.” – St. Augustine