Recently, I was asked about having an attitude of gratitude in a negative environment. I know that my strength is not a result of my efforts– far from it! I have to practice and make a decision to focus on having a great day. I have noticed when I say, “Today is going to be rough,” I get what I have spoken. If I sulk or frown, I make matters even worse. I become what I think, I have spoken what I believe, and then I behave based on what I have spoken. This means my day is a result of my choices (ouch!). So, if this is something you find challenging at times, be encouraged! You are in charge of the type of day you will experience, no matter what is before you. Would you like to know how to make an attitude of gratitude a part of your daily life?
Here are a few simple strategies that I use that I hope will serve you well:
- Set the tone for your day before your day starts
We live in a hurried society where we are always on the go. Our hurry shows up in our relationships, our work performance, our ministry service, and our personal lives. What is the tone we are setting through our busyness? Anxiety and stress are the tone and environment we are producing. Life is not meant to be ignored, but seen as a gift from God. When you take a moment to celebrate life you are more likely to appreciate each moment.
- Acknowledge moments when you need to regroup
There are times when our lives are interrupted. Unscheduled moments can disrupt our peace and momentum—only if we allow it to happen. In our day, we must be comfortable acknowledging to God our fatigue, frustration, and even overwhelm. There have been times where I find myself pessimistic. I love schedules and perfect plans; however, when there are interruptions I tend to become irritated ( high five to my fellow planners). The irritation in these moments must be acknowledged to get to the heart of the matter (i.e. Why am I irritated?). Pessimism is a personal signal that there is an area that needs greater balance, healing, or perspective. Instead of resting in the emotion, I regroup with God. In my time with God, He asks me questions. My favorite question is whether the emotion I am experiencing is worth giving up the joy of my day. 99 percent of the time it is NOT worth it.
- Remind yourself that you have authority over today
I believe in the Philippians 4:8 test wholeheartedly! If I am not thinking thoughts that are lovely, just, or of a good report, that thought is not worth jeopardizing my peace. At the end of the day, God has given me power and authority to determine the day I will have. This does not mean that I live in a bubble that prevents me from experiencing challenging moments. I wish! It simply makes me more responsible for my response to difficult times. Having an attitude of gratitude is a matter of choice, not luxury.
What are you committed to doing to maintain an attitude of gratitude in your daily life?
Make sure to your share your tips or questions in comments. This week, the first 3 readers to comment will receive a complimentary Life and Leadership consultation.