Updated: Oct 19, 2018
by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip
Did you know if you have a grateful heart you can avoid the struggles with depression? The problem it is not easy is it to have a grateful heart on a regular basis?
So often instead of finding something to be grateful about, our minds and hearts tend to focus on the negative in our life. It is hard to be thankful when you lost a job, a loved one, are terminally ill, been in a car accident, or any traumatic experience. It is understandable in these situations that gratefulness is not what we feel, but the situation can be more manageable and avoid falling into depression if we do find gratitude.
It can also be difficult to be grateful even in simple things like you go to a store and they are out of the very thing you needed to get. Instead of being grateful about being able to go to the store, having money for food, able to have transportation to get to the store, and having the option to use something else. We often get frustrated, sad, and even angry that we are in these situations. That can lead into a spiral of negative thoughts which can eventually turn into depression.
Gratitude can make you realize life is precious and a blessing. So how can you establish gratitude into your daily life? Start by training yourself to control the “train” in your brain. Our brain works a mile a minute and many times the wheels keep spinning in around and around and follow an unhealthy track of being sad, mad, and negative. Our job is to find and stay on the healthy track of gratitude.
For some people gratitude comes easily. Their personalities are easy going and they tend to know how to go with the flow and find things to be thankful for in all situations. However, for the majority of the population, especially for those dominate and precise personalities, gratitude is a much harder to experience.
In our lives we have spiritual influence both good and bad. Do you remember growing up with the visual of the devil on one shoulder and angle on the other? Well, for the most part that is not too far off from real life. There is a spiritual realm that guides us. It is our choice which to listen to and follow. God provides the Holy Spirit as our guidance. However, the devil also has an influence, but only if we let him. God is much stronger and the only way to avoid the negative in our life is to keep our hearts and minds focused on Him. The problem is the devil does not want to allow our relationship to grow with God and will put things like negative thoughts, doubts about ourselves, frustrations, etc. in our path to block that growth. We have the power through the Holy Spirit not to allow that to happen. We just need to ask God for the strength. He will provide ways to resist the evil influences of Satan.
God wants us to be thankful in all situations, the good and the bad. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
How can we learn to be thankful in all circumstances? Billy Graham shares a story about a man who could have been bitter due to his circumstances, but instead chose to be thankful. In this article he lists the following to be thankful in all things.
1) Thank God for the material things He has given you.
2) Thank God for the people in your life.
3) Thank God even in the midst of trails and even persecution.
4) Thank God especially for salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
5) Thank God for His continued presence and power in your life.
So the next time you find yourself in a situation where it is difficult think about these five steps to be grateful and you will “Make a Better You”.