Did you know when people are feeling positive they are 30% more creative and productive than they are at negative, neutral or stressed? I don’t know about you in 2020, but I’ve been straining just to get to neutral. Goals of creativity, productivity, positivity are melting into a coronavirus ooze of Netflix, Zoom calls, tired cooking, and boundaryless life-work tension. Like me, are you searching for ways to lift your mental health
We learn to scan the landscape of our lives for good. My daily gratitude practice is outlined in my book, Gracious Living. Gratitude begins with posturing our heart toward God. Here’s a starter: “I take a few minutes to turn my affection toward God. Some days, I have more time, but at a minimum, I spend five minutes loving Him and celebrating His friendship in my life. It can simply be turning my face upward toward the sun for a few moments; dancing when a song comes on; or cherishing the sweetness of a moment in prayer. Every day I also jot down three things for which I’m grateful.” (p. 43) You see, telling God thanks helps us to relive those good moments along with all the positive feelings. It’s way more productive than reliving every negative conversation or thought.
Besides my gratitude list of three every day, I practice another habit that has significantly impacted my life. Again, from my book, Gracious Living: “I send an encouraging text or email to someone every day. Whoever comes to mind, I take that as a sign from God. I send them a Bible verse, tell them why I’m grateful for them, or share what I’m praying for them. You might ask, ‘How does this help you, Margaret?’ If I consistently speak life over others, it will stand out as incongruent if I speak poorly to myself. If I’m better to others, I will be better to myself, plain and simple.” (p. 43) Try it out: send an encouraging text or email a few mornings this week and see if your mood is lifted!
The Bible is a plumb line for me. When my thinking starts to spiral toward negativity, I review this honest word from Philippians: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) So my friend, when you walk into the kitchen, what do you dwell on? When you interact with fellow employees or family members do you dwell on what is true and honorable and worthy of praise?
This attitude of gratitude will ripple outward into every area of your life. Let the goodness of God shape your thinking so that you can be positive in this present moment. If you need some inspiration, find my book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion at MargaretAllen.org. The kindle version is on Amazon. Thank you for reading my blog today and let me hear how your gratitude practice is going!