As a Christian counselor I see one of the biggest areas of struggle that we as people, and yes even christians have, is controlling our thoughts. Human nature tends toward negative maybe even ungrateful thoughts. And at a time in our world where so many are going through such hard times it’s hard not to allow our thoughts to go toward all the negative and difficult things that life throws at us. When we allow our thoughts to continue to dwell in a place of discontentment and negativity it affects everything about us, our feelings, our behavior and even the course of our lives.
The bible tells us in Psalm 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so will he be” and in Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”.
So one of the most powerful tools we can use in our lives to create a feeling of peace and joy is to develop a thankful heart – according to the above scripture a thankful heart will have a positive affect on the course of your life.
There is a type of “power” you receive from being thankful, no matter what your circumstances may be. This is a biblical principal, “Be thankful in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” and is scientifically proven.
The key is to focus on what is working for you, instead of what is not working. How do we do this? Start by:
- Noticing the small things in life: a child’s smile, the smell of coffee or maybe just getting up in the morning.
- Get a notebook and pen: keep in your purse or car and slow down and notice the good things in your life.
- Write down a least three things to be thankful for a day.
Studies have shown that people who are thankful and have a positive outlook on life are more likely to:
- Be more creative
- Bounce back from adversity faster
- Be less intimidated by challenges
- Have a higher immune response
- Be more alert and interested
- Be more adventurous
- Live longer
- More likely to help others
- Be more likable
- Be less judging
Remember, sometimes the most significant blessings are from the most insignificant events.
Kathy Cunningham is a Christian Counselor with Pathseeker Center. She is married to John, has 2 children and 3 grandchildren. She enjoys being with family and helping people find hope and freedom in their lives.