Five Ways to Count Our Blessings

Posted by Jeree Brunson, Contributing Writer, on Nov 20, 2020

Five Ways to Count Our Blessings

It’s been quite a year! Navigating the pandemic, sifting through headline news, and handling life’s challenges can feel overwhelming as we gear up for the holiday season. It kicked off with Halloween and will end with New Year’s Day as we begin 2021. In the middle sits Thanksgiving, a day where we can celebrate, connect, and count our blessings.

According to research from the US National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine, some people are wired to look at life through a positive lens while others are not, based on personality traits. But no matter what type of personality you may have, you can still practice gratitude.
The benefits of gratitude in times of stress have been well-documented in both popular and scientific literature. By training ourselves to take each thought captive and make it obedient to Christ, we can count our blessings.

If you are struggling to find something to be thankful for this year, here are five ways you can stay positive this holiday season.

1. Think positive.

Set aside a specific time each day to think about the positive things that happened this year. They can even be the little things in life such as waking up to coffee each morning or enjoying the wonderful food spread out on the Thanksgiving table. By concentrating on the good things, we can shift focus from the more challenging ones.

2. Talk positive with others.

Talk about positive things with friends and family that happened throughout the year. Ask those around you (e.g., family, friends, and neighbors) what their favorite memory from the year is, and why. Talking with others about the good things that happened may inspire you to remember even more.

3. Make it concrete.

Try taking photos or making a running list of things you are grateful for—even one snapshot or listed item per day will help you to slow down and notice the blessings in your life you might otherwise miss. It might be something as simple as your favorite color, autumn colors, or the smile of a loved one. If you are artistically inclined, you might even draw a sketch instead. Look here for more ideas about starting a gratitude journal.

4. Focus on God.

Make a list of answered prayers. Then, meditate on how God worked in your life and in the lives of those around you. Ask Him to continue working in and through you. Consider starting a prayer journal to capture the ways God is at work and remember them throughout the year.

5. Share the gratitude attitude.

Share the gratitude attitude with others by affirming one or two positive attributes about another person. You can write this person a thank-you note or even a tribute letter. Sharing the positive with someone else makes it easier for both of you to not just dwell on the negative.

When we change our thinking, it impacts the direction of our lives. By focusing on the positive things in life, it is easier to count our blessings. No matter what you are facing, keep your eyes focused on Jesus, especially during this busy yet wonderful time of the year.

Looking for other ways to cultivate gratitude and stay positive? Make a real difference to families in need by participating in ToyZone, now through December 6.

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