A heart of gratitude is open, receptive, living in growth and satisfaction. This is why exercising gratitude is associated with positive outcomes in mental and physical health. When you get stuck in comparison you are calculating, measuring, and categorizing life and people. Comparison makes you more narrow and rigid, inhibiting growth and good positive relationships.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 MSG
Learn to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. and because all things have contributed to your life, you should include all things in your gratitude.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust
Worrying has become a national pastime. Whether you’re worrying about the upcoming election, your health, having job stability, getting a job, or making sure your kids are taken care of and getting everything they need, there’s no shortage of material for anxiety and worry.
The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, states that anxiety disorders are the most common mental diagnosis in the United States. They cost the country $42 billion a year, and usually when you find anxiety you find depression. People with an anxiety disorder are also three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric illness.
For those stuck in anxiety and worry, it can almost feel tiring to be told the importance of “letting go,” “relaxing” and “unwinding.” While this advice is ultimately right, we struggle to “get there.” Here are some ways to help:
Everyone has gone through something. They have a story. When you look at a person remember that they have gone through something that has changed them. We are all in process. Give each other patience, kindness and love.
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears – Philippians 1:6
No Matter where you are in your story, know 2 things
- God is with you – You are not alone. Let that sink in. Live in that awareness every day.
- He will complete what He has started – God is involved in your life. He has started something that He will complete. It is working… Trust Him
Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you – Deuteronomy 31:6
Sometimes are reaction to the mess creates an even bigger mess. Your reaction to any event determines the level of growth that happens in you and the people you love. Learn to respond not react. The difference is attitude. When you react it is from pain and fear, and that is usually what you give to others, pain and fear. When you respond you are being proactive with the desire to give solutions, hope and love. Learn to put a few seconds pause in and respond not react.
We have all experienced discouragement and disappointment. The struggles and pain we experience create feelings of loss. We lose confidence and enthusiasm and we become disheartened. Here are some causes and cures guided by scripture to help you overcome discouragement and disappointment.
Some of you have let life push you down. You’re not pursuing what God has put in your heart. But God is saying, “It’s your time.” How do you live in this moment? Learn to know and understand that love is an absolute. You must love God, others and yourself.
Hope is a confident expectation. When the world and the pain of our past says “give up, don’t even try”, Hope says “try one more time.” Be willing to hope and love.
“I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” – Philippians 4:8. It is important to recognize that you get to choose what you dwell on or think about. The best way I know to direct your thoughts is to focus on things that give life. I have tried to use the idea of a playlist. Most of us have a playlist. A list of songs that describe your interests and moods that make you come alive. I have several playlists that help me to find clarity and direction. Several of the playlists are songs but many are scripture. Here are three songs that I listen to daily:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path – Psalms 119:105
The playlist that I go to the most is one that is scripture. Most of my scripture playlists are in my head, not in a digital file. I think we must create things that can measure our thoughts and fears against truth. Creating a biblical playlist or list of scriptures will develop that yardstick. Here are some scriptures I meditate on regularly to bring myself back to calm when I get anxious, stressed or fearful.
Don’t get discouraged, focus and protect your heart with the truth that you are loved and enjoyed. Remember each day that the story is not finished yet, you still have a part to play. Everything that God is doing is worked into something good.
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! – Romans 5:3-5 MSG
I try to always focus on two things when I feel discouraged and stressed.
Love is behavioral, real love the kind that lasts is more than just an emotion, it is an action. Yes it should include the chemistry of attraction and feelings but, if it is to last it must have actions of kindness, compassion and service. If you talk about how much you love something or someone and your behavior doesn’t match that is a flag that needs to be noticed. The problem is something is out of balance. Here a couple possibility:
Sometimes we have to move on. Whether it is pain, regret or the hope of something more, we need to trust that God is with us. My daily leap is to trust that God is really with me, and that He will work all things together for my good. I choose to believe daily that this is true and not a cliche. Here are some ideas to jump start moving on: