Thursday, November 27, 2014

5 Ways to increase your gratitude




5 Ways to increase your gratitude

1. Pray

Get down on your knees and pray until you feel grateful and your heart is softened to a place Heavenly Father can heal your heart and remind you of all the incredible blessings He has blessed you with.

Sometimes when I'm in my car, I'll turn off the radio and make it a challenge to pray aloud (there is great power in prayers that have voice) ONLY thanking Heavenly Father without asking for anything in return. Once I start naming a few things I am grateful for, knowledge of my blessings come pouring to my mind and then I feel His love for me in abundance.

2. Keep a gratitude journal

Every night before you go to sleep, write down something you are grateful for. You can simply list one item in your journal a night or you can expand on the blessing. You will soon see everything you have been blessed with is far greater than you expected. When you are having a hard day, you can turn to this list and see how much you have to be grateful for.

I love writing down the tender mercies from my day. One way my faith has grown so much and I have come to know for myself how much Heavenly Father loves His children is watching for God's hand in my life. It's always there, always, and sometimes I make it a point to pray in the morning to have the ability to be aware of how God's hand is in my life. Heavenly Father knows exactly how to speak to you and He will send you a smile, a friend or whatever He sees you need, in His perfect time. Pray to see these tender mercies and then show Heavenly Father how much you love receiving them by writing them down and showing Him they are important and special to you.

3. Make a list of all the blessings that have come from your trials and heartbreaks

Trials come into our lives for a purpose. They are hard and challenging but they always bring blessings. This is what we call a beautiful heartbreak. Sometimes we think we know what we want but really Heavenly Father is the only one that knows what's best for us. Every trial you go through, there is a lesson to be learned, character to be gained, humility to be experienced, and faith to be built. 

Make a list of everything you have gone through that has been really difficult for you. Then start naming everything beautiful that came from it. This may be really hard to see so you may need to pray for some insight but I testify that trials are blessings!

4. Serve

When you stop focusing on yourself and what you don't have in your life, you are able to see life in a whole new perspective. The more you get to know the stories of others and you can serve them with your full heart, you will forget your own life and you will get caught up in helping solve the problems of others instead. You have so much to offer and blessings will become known unto you the instant you forget yourself and serve Heavenly Father instead. 

5. Get outside of your box

It can often be easy to get caught in our own comfort zone and we become confined by all we know. Do something different for a day... walk around a children's hospital, go downtown and take a look at all the homeless people, even something simple like reading a few heartbreaking stories will help you to realize how much you personally have and that there is so much more to life. You have been blessed so much and sometimes it just takes going to a new place or observing the life of another to see just how much you have!

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Happy Thanksgiving, what an amazing holiday! A time to be with family, a time to enjoy all the yummy deliciousness (I think potatoes and pumpkin pie are my favorite), and a time to reflect over everything you are thankful for. 

I have been writing gratitude posts on my Facebook page all month long and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. It was something I just felt I needed to do. Interestingly enough, you'd be surprised how many Facebook friends I've lost because of it. After I noticed this, I started to contemplate if I should keep going and I was guided by my inner voice to stay true to the commitment I had made to myself and to Heavenly Father. As each day goes by, I've been able to also reflect on the influence it has had on others. I have received a few messages because of these posts that have brought me to tears in the most inspiring way.

Every single day I write one of my grateful posts, I pray about what to say. I pray and then listen to know exactly what I should write. These posts aren't planned out and I'm learning more about life and more about gratitude because of these posts. These gratitude posts are made possible through Heavenly Father, after all it was Him that gave me everything I have to be grateful for.

Right now I'm taking a positive psychology class that is completely focused on gratitude and how being thankful has the power to change your happiness and well-being. This class is part of my minor that will allow me to coach and train others in the positive upbeat of life. It's been the greatest experience to be living proof that gratitude really can change your life. 

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