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Unlocking Gratitude—A Key to Reduce Stress

Picture of a water lily and plants

"Repetitive complaining will attract things for you to complain about. Repeated gratitude will attract things for you to be thankful about." Unknown


This is a call to focus on cultivating a heart of gratitude to lift our spirits as we enter a new year.




Unmasking the “Fantasy Life” 
The holiday season often brings stress and discouragement, and social media platforms only seem to exacerbate these emotions. Almost everyone appears to be leading a perfect life, posted in myriad colorful photos, which can give rise to comparison and a sense of instant dissatisfaction. As we try to grapple with the dichotomy of our lives and the "perfect" lives on social media, how can we learn to be grateful for where we are, and where God has planned for us?

One way to counter comparison anxiety is to view everything through a realistic lens. It's essential to remember, no one is perfect, and everyone has their struggles, irrespective of the images we see.


The Impact of Time and Attention

The imbalance of time spent on our phones versus with our families, or more importantly, with God, creates a detrimental impact on our spiritual and mental health. If we are constantly feeding our spirits through media and other material things rather than spiritual things, we are bound to starve spiritually.


Psychology Today says, "Practicing gratitude daily reduces stress." This statement holds true as the practice of gratitude yields both mental and physical benefits. People who adopt a lifestyle centered on gratitude tend to experience reduced pain, stress, insomnia, and even have a boosted immune system.


The Fruit of Gratitude

The Bible speaks volumes about “gratitude”--it is referenced 229 times, and “thanksgiving” 89 times--emphasizing its importance in the believers walk. To cultivate a thankful heart, it is not just saying a quick "thank you", but also about extending favor, showing kindness, and radiating grace. These responses require continuous practice! 


One of my broadcast guests shared, “There are two things you can control--your attitude and your effort." Gratitude directly impacts our attitudes and effort levels. It shapes our mindsets, renewing our spirits daily. As the new year dawns upon us, it is an invitation for us to let go of all our burdens, and in every situation, find something to be thankful for, maintaining an attitude and lifestyle of gratitude!


For other encouraging resources on thankfulness, check out A Time to Rejoice (elici.org).

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