Overcoming Depression – Creating an Attitude of Gratitude Part 1

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it Chuck Swindoll

We have spent the last couple of weeks looking at Depression and obtaining the tools for overcoming it.

We have looked at ourselves, gotten to know ourselves better. We have gotten to know God better as well. We need to stay on those tracks of discovery but now we are ready to add another dimension to our efforts to overcome depression.

This week we are going to look at Gratitude. Think you are already grateful enough? Think being grateful is all poof and no substance? Think again. Having an Attitude of Gratitude is such important stuff that, without it, you don’t have a chance in a million of overcoming depression without it.

Think life has dealt you more than it’s fair share of blows? Do you think that the world needs to pay for the pain you have suffered? Did you lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel so long ago that you have also lost sight of the tunnel? Well…get over it. Take that baggage that, to this point, you have insisted on carrying with you everywhere you go and hand it over to the Lord and get on with your life. I’m not saying you have to hand it over but the truth of the matter is that unless and until you hand it over or chuck it far away, you have little to no chance of overcoming depression.

Does that seem unfair? Let me tell you a big, well-known secret: LIFE IS NOT FAIR!!!

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s do something positive with our week! Let’s learn to be grateful! Having gratitude is one of those win/win kind of deals! You win and so does everyone in your life! I have a whole list of wonderful articles to share with you this week! Be sure to go find yourself a notebook that you can write in. Then, continue reading today’s inspiring article! I hope you start feeling the positive effects of having gratitude starting today!:

How to Develop a Gratitude Mindset

Gratitude, the cardinal moral emotion that promotes cooperation and makes our society civil and kind, is the feeling of reverence for things that are given, according to Bob Emmons Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Many of us spend most of the year thinking about what we want and what’s next. It’s not until Thanksgiving that we’re reminded to think about what we’re grateful for and how to express that gratitude.

Expressing thanks shouldn’t be a once-a-year tradition. It is possible to cultivate a gratitude mindset that will stick with you throughout the year. A gratitude mindset means lower levels of envy, anxiety, and depression as well as increased optimism and well-being. Research recently conducted at University of California-Davis found gratitude gives the person expressing it the power to heal, to be energized, and to change lives.

What Are the Benefits of Gratitude?

Gratitude can impact the physical, psychological, and social aspects of an individual’s well-being, studies show. Positive psychology sees gratitude as one of the keys in turning potential negatives into positives.

Here are some of the benefits that come from adopting a gratitude mindset.

Physical benefits:

  • a stronger immune system
  • less bothered by aches and pains
  • lower blood pressure
  • sleep longer and feel more rested upon awakening

Social benefits:

  • more compassionate, generous, and helpful
  • more forgiving
  • more outgoing
  • feel less lonely or isolated

Psychological benefits:

  • higher levels of positive emotion
  • more alert, alive, awake
  • more joy and pleasure
  • more optimism and happiness

The Challenges to Gratitude

Being thankful might seem like a simple task. There are roadblocks to gratitude, including narcissism, materialism, and even overscheduling. There are also the myths that gratitude expressed at work is “kissing butt,” that it can lead to complacency, isn’t possible in the midst of suffering, or makes you a pushover.

Gratitude is stronger when it is shared. To sustain your gratitude mindset, find a way to verbalize, write it down, or share through social media. Just like meditation is a practice, so too is gratitude.

3 Quick Gratitude Boosters

Keep a Gratitude Journal: At the end of each day, make a list of three things you are grateful for. Think of everything from running water and a cozy bed to no red lights during your commute and having a great friend at work. The list can be endless! As you practice, you strengthen the neural pathways that help you find even more things to be grateful for. Pretty soon, gratitude will be your attitude.

In one study funded by the John Templeton Foundation as part of the Greater Good Science Center’s Expanding Gratitude Project, middle school students listed five things they were grateful for—for two weeks.  They were then compared to a control group documenting their everyday events. At the end, the gratitude group reported more satisfaction with their school experience.

Write a Gratitude Letter: Choose someone who has made a positive impact on your life. Write he or she a letter explaining how and thanking them. Be specific and include lots of description. You can either mail the letter or just tuck it away. Expressing your gratitude heightens it.

Receive Gratefully: Many of us are better givers than receivers. Put your focus on your experience of receiving gratitude. When you’re given a compliment, do you belittle yourself by saying “it was nothing” or by playing down your role? Notice your experience as a recipient and try to receive complements or thanks with grace. The law of giving and receiving places equal emphasis on both sides.

Gratitude is essential for happiness. By setting the intention to prioritize gratitude, you have already begun to adopt the mindset. So thank yourself!

This article was written by Tamara Lechner is and shared from the following website: http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to-develop-a-gratitude-mindset

 

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Increase the Positive Energy in the World with Some Praise!

Encouragement is oxygen to the soul   George Henry Adams

It can be difficult to measure the positive benefits of praise. However, I know of one immediate benefit: a smile!

We only have to look as far as our own lives to understand how important praise and gratitude is.

How well do you feel and how happy are you when you are grumpy and angry?

How well do you feel and how happy are you when you feel grateful and blessed?

Now, here’s a recommendation for you that maybe you have never heard before – You need to give yourself encouragement! You are the most important person to give yourself encouragement and praise. When you do, you will be much better at giving others praise and encouragement!

Look for your blessings! Even in the most difficult of circumstances, they are there! Pat yourself on the back and tell yourself you have done a good job when you know you have! If you need to make changes, exercise mercy. Tell yourself that you didn’t do the job that you wanted to do but you are determined to do better and better!

We are beings full of energy. We have the choice of being beings filled with love and positive energy or being beings that are resentful, angry and full of negative energy. What do you choose?

I hope you will think about it as you read today’s inspiring article! I hope you enjoy!

5 Benefits of Thanksgiving & Praise

Do you want to strengthen your spiritual life? Do you want to get God’s perspective on the issues you face? If so, then you want to understand thanksgiving and praise in a much deeper way.

Thanksgiving and praise involves more than just speaking lovely words to God.

Thanksgiving and praise means honoring God with your words and allowing those words to agree with what His Word says about Him. It’s means promoting the Lord’s mercy and compassion to those around you by telling them about the great things He has done in your life. And when you do that, it builds you and others up as it blesses the Lord.

Psalm 8:1-2 says, “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.”

Then in Matthew 21:16 Jesus quoted that psalm when He said, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise” (KJV). Notice, He equated praise with strength.

From these scriptures, you can learn how thanksgiving and praise can affect your life.

1.Thanksgiving and Praise Brings God on the Scene

Psalm 22:3 says God inhabits the praises of His people. When you enter into thanksgiving and praise, you invite God’s glory, His presence, to fill your life and your situation. At times of high praise, the Shekinah glory of God will fill the whole place with His sweet presence.

2.Thanksgiving and Praise Puts Challenges in Perspective

As Psalm 8:1 reminds you: “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.” Thanksgiving and praise reminds you just how powerful your God is. He is the creator of all the world and the universe. Nothing is beneath His notice. If He is in your corner, how can you lose?!

3.Thanksgiving and Praise Focuses Your Mind on the Right Subject

When challenges arise, it’s easy to allow them to play on a loop inside your head. But thanksgiving and praise breaks that loop. It helps you to refocus your attention on the One who is greater than every challenge. Just read through King David’s psalms. Time and again he wrote of his troubles and of God’s glorious power. He was refocusing his attention on the One who had all the answers to his troubles.

4.Thanksgiving and Praise Strengthens Your Faith

Romans 4:20 says, Abraham “grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God” (AMPC). As you praise God and speak of His marvelous works, you are reminded of all that God has done, and your faith in God and His plan for you increases.

5.Thanksgiving and Praise Is a Weapon Against the Enemy’s Maneuvers

Psalm 9 says: “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right” (verses 1-4, KJV). When you praise God, your enemies have to turn back. (Read 2 Chronicles 20 for an example of this.)

Look at these elements again. Consider how they can empower and affect your spiritual and physical life if you act on them. Thanksgiving and praise brings God on the scene, puts challenges in perspective, focuses your mind on God, strengthens your faith in Him and allows you to combat negative spiritual forces that come against you. It prepares you to handle the situations in your life with His perspective—remembering that He is in control and that you are prepared to handle whatever comes your way!

Today’s Inspirational article shared from the following website: http://www.kcm.org/real-help/spiritual-growth/learn/5-benefits-thanksgiving-praise

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Kind Words Have the Power to Change Lives…

Kind words are  short and easy to speak, but their echoes are  truly endless   Mother TeresaI am trying to figure out a mystery that relates to words. How is it that we know the profound effect that words can have on us and yet have little knowledge of how important our words are to others?

In heaven, kind and loving words are the staple of that realm. Besides the actual sense of love that permeated heaven, it was the way we treated and honored each other that made heaven so blissful for me.

Who doesn’t love being surrounded with love and positive reinforcement of their value?

Think how different this world would be if we all shared positive words of encouragement!

We all have the personal power to choose our words! What words will you share with those you love and associate with today? I hope you will read today’s story and then think about the power of your words!

The Power of Encouragement

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the famous 19th-century poet and artist, was once approached by an elderly man. The old fellow had some sketches and drawings that he wanted Rossetti to look at and tell him if they were any good, or if they at least showed potential talent.

Rossetti looked them over carefully. After the first few, he knew that they were worthless, showing not the least sign of artistic talent. But Rossetti was a kind man, and he told the elderly man as gently as possible that the pictures were without much value and showed little talent. He was sorry, but he could not lie to the man. The visitor was disappointed, but seemed to expect Rossetti’s judgment.

He then apologized for taking up Rossetti’s time, but would he just look at a few more drawings – these done by a young art student? Rossetti looked over the second batch of sketches and immediately became enthusiastic over the talent they revealed. “These,” he said, “oh, these are good. This young student has great talent. He should be given every help and encouragement in his career as an artist. He has a great future if he will work hard and stick to it.”

Rossetti could see that the old fellow was deeply moved. “Who is this fine young artist?” he asked. “Your son?” “No,” said the old man sadly. “It is me – 40 years ago. If only I had heard your praise then! For you see, I got discouraged and gave up – too soon.”

– Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-9.html

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