Overcoming Depression – Creating an Attitude of Gratitude Part 1

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it Chuck SwindollWe have spent the last couple of weeks looking at Depression and obtaining the tools for overcoming it.

We have looked at ourselves, gotten to know ourselves better. We have gotten to know God better as well. We need to stay on those tracks of discovery but now we are ready to add another dimension to our efforts to overcome depression.

This week we are going to look at Gratitude. Think you are already grateful enough? Think being grateful is all poof and no substance? Think again. Having an Attitude of Gratitude is such important stuff that, without it, you don’t have a chance in a million of overcoming depression without it.

Think life has dealt you more than it’s fair share of blows? Do you think that the world needs to pay for the pain you have suffered? Did you lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel so long ago that you have also lost sight of the tunnel? Well…get over it. Take that baggage that, to this point, you have insisted on carrying with you everywhere you go and hand it over to the Lord and get on with your life. I’m not saying you have to hand it over but the truth of the matter is that unless and until you hand it over or chuck it far away, you have little to no chance of overcoming depression.

Does that seem unfair? Let me tell you a big, well-known secret: LIFE IS NOT FAIR!!!

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s do something positive with our week! Let’s learn to be grateful! Having gratitude is one of those win/win kind of deals! You win and so does everyone in your life! I have a whole list of wonderful articles to share with you this week! Be sure to go find yourself a notebook that you can write in. Then, continue reading today’s inspiring article! I hope you start feeling the positive effects of having gratitude starting today!:

How to Develop a Gratitude Mindset

Gratitude, the cardinal moral emotion that promotes cooperation and makes our society civil and kind, is the feeling of reverence for things that are given, according to Bob Emmons Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.

Many of us spend most of the year thinking about what we want and what’s next. It’s not until Thanksgiving that we’re reminded to think about what we’re grateful for and how to express that gratitude.

Expressing thanks shouldn’t be a once-a-year tradition. It is possible to cultivate a gratitude mindset that will stick with you throughout the year. A gratitude mindset means lower levels of envy, anxiety, and depression as well as increased optimism and well-being. Research recently conducted at University of California-Davis found gratitude gives the person expressing it the power to heal, to be energized, and to change lives.

What Are the Benefits of Gratitude?

Gratitude can impact the physical, psychological, and social aspects of an individual’s well-being, studies show. Positive psychology sees gratitude as one of the keys in turning potential negatives into positives.

Here are some of the benefits that come from adopting a gratitude mindset.

Physical benefits:

  • a stronger immune system
  • less bothered by aches and pains
  • lower blood pressure
  • sleep longer and feel more rested upon awakening

Social benefits:

  • more compassionate, generous, and helpful
  • more forgiving
  • more outgoing
  • feel less lonely or isolated

Psychological benefits:

  • higher levels of positive emotion
  • more alert, alive, awake
  • more joy and pleasure
  • more optimism and happiness

The Challenges to Gratitude

Being thankful might seem like a simple task. There are roadblocks to gratitude, including narcissism, materialism, and even overscheduling. There are also the myths that gratitude expressed at work is “kissing butt,” that it can lead to complacency, isn’t possible in the midst of suffering, or makes you a pushover.

Gratitude is stronger when it is shared. To sustain your gratitude mindset, find a way to verbalize, write it down, or share through social media. Just like meditation is a practice, so too is gratitude.

3 Quick Gratitude Boosters

Keep a Gratitude Journal: At the end of each day, make a list of three things you are grateful for. Think of everything from running water and a cozy bed to no red lights during your commute and having a great friend at work. The list can be endless! As you practice, you strengthen the neural pathways that help you find even more things to be grateful for. Pretty soon, gratitude will be your attitude.

In one study funded by the John Templeton Foundation as part of the Greater Good Science Center’s Expanding Gratitude Project, middle school students listed five things they were grateful for—for two weeks.  They were then compared to a control group documenting their everyday events. At the end, the gratitude group reported more satisfaction with their school experience.

Write a Gratitude Letter: Choose someone who has made a positive impact on your life. Write he or she a letter explaining how and thanking them. Be specific and include lots of description. You can either mail the letter or just tuck it away. Expressing your gratitude heightens it.

Receive Gratefully: Many of us are better givers than receivers. Put your focus on your experience of receiving gratitude. When you’re given a compliment, do you belittle yourself by saying “it was nothing” or by playing down your role? Notice your experience as a recipient and try to receive complements or thanks with grace. The law of giving and receiving places equal emphasis on both sides.

Gratitude is essential for happiness. By setting the intention to prioritize gratitude, you have already begun to adopt the mindset. So thank yourself!

This article was written by Tamara Lechner is and shared from the following website: http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to-develop-a-gratitude-mindset

 

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11 Ways to Attract Abundance in Your Life

Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what already has been given Sufi Saying

1. Begin with gratitude.

Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act.

Next, you’ve got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance—it means working on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your nation and blessing your enterprise. Once abundance starts to come, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it’s amazing what the numbers turn out to be.

2. Dream it.

Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. They dared to dream, to believe that it was possible. Take some time to allow yourself to ask, What if? Think big. Don’t let negative thinking discourage you.

You want to be a “dreamer.” Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go.

3. Alter your mindset.

Rich people live in a world of abundance. Poor people live in a world of limitation.

Poor people think there’s not enough to go around in the world. They come from a fear-based mindset. Their answers are “either/or,” but never “both.” In a poor person’s mindset, they go for security above love, safety before self-expression, and protection over possibility.

Rich people understand that with a little creativity, a willingness to be unconventional and an open mind, they can have both. When you build your life on the “Both!” mentality, you will see opportunities that you were once blind to.

What about you? Are you a possibility theorist or a fear-based thinker?

4. Construct an empowering reality.

You’re creating your reality right now. But chances are you’re not being very intentional about the reality that you’re creating. Reality is subjective; if you realize that it’s a construct if you realize that you are choosing to believe something, then you can choose to believe that you can do something about it.

Write down the beliefs that you have about yourself. On one side, list the things that empower you and move you forward. The things that make you more confident, that give you the courage and the audacity to move forward. On the other side, list the things that demotivate or demean you and move you away from your goals.

You can choose to believe things that empower you, and you can choose to ignore the things that move you backward. It’s all a construct.

5. Stop making excuses.

Eliminating excuses is important because your future is important.

If you only get the future that you work for, then what you work on is pretty important, right? You probably don’t want to screw that up. If there is a list of things to not flub, “your future” has to be high on the list.

Your decisions lead to your destiny. Do you believe that? You should. It’s true. Sooner or later, what you do—and who you really are—determines what you ultimately achieve.

6. Realize your potential.

The wonderful thing about potential is that it can build upon itself. If you can just get the snowball rolling, the energy of motion will take over.

Think for a moment about the people you respect. Why do you admire them? You are probably drawn to them because they are full of realized potential. When we see people exerting this kind of energy, it compels us to draw ourselves closer to them and become a part of what they are doing.

So today you have a choice. Will you sit at the top of the hill merely contemplating your capabilities? Or will you give yourself a little shove and barrel down that hill, knocking over obstacles standing in your way?

7. Attract opportunity.

Opportunities and success are not something you go after necessarily but something you attract by becoming an attractive person.

If you can develop your skills, keep refining all the parts of your character and yourself, your health, your relationships so that you become an attractive person—you’ll attract opportunity. Opportunity will probably seek you out.

8. Commit to living your dreams.

Once you commit to living your dreams, the lids blinding your eyes will be lifted. A completely new world will be opened to your view.

You will notice opportunities that have been in your reach all along, ones your conscious mind simply didn’t pay heed to. The fundamental change taking place is your self-identity. This is the point of no return. Once this shift has happened, your whole world changes.

  • Nothing becomes impossible for you.
  • Your only limitations are your consciousness, which is quickly expanding.
  • Whatever you want quickly becomes yours because you see what most people don’t.
  • Now that you can see it everywhere, you are sprinting.

9. Never be satisfied.

Even after you achieve a goal, you’re not content. For you, it’s not even about the goal. It’s about the climb to see how far you can push yourself.

Does this make you ungrateful? Absolutely not. You’re entirely humbled and grateful for everything in your life. Which is why you will never get complacent or lazy.

10. Add value to others.

When you stand on the beach and watch the waves hit the shore, do you think there’s any end to the water? There is, of course, but we can’t comprehend it, so we think seawater is endlessly abundant. You would never deny a bucketful to a child building a sand castle because you can refill that bucket again and again. That’s how the abundance mindset works. You give away praise, recognition, ideas, knowledge, and money because you know there’s plenty to go around. What you give away will come back to you a thousand times over.

11. Make the most of the infinite possibilities ahead of you.

Explore the unique, endless possibilities within you. Remember that when you work on improving yourself, you’re adding to the youth, vitality, and beauty of your mind. Today’s article was written by the Success staff and is shared from the following website: https://www.success.com/11-ways-to-attract-abundance-in-your-life/

 

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Why Finding Contentment Is Important In Life

Riches are not from an abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind

Finding contentment in life seems like a road we all walk that never finds its end. If I am happy today do I really want things to change? If I am happy today am I content? Or am I just being complacent? Can I even say for sure that I know the difference?

A quick trip to the dictionary says that when we are content, we are happy. When we are complacent we are saying that we are happy, but we are doing so while being unaware of actual dangers or deficiencies present in our lives.

It seems that wherever we go, everyone is running around in search of some unknown thing without knowing what they want. A kind of discontentment reflects on their face be they millionaires or average Joes. With so many people experiencing it, could this really be the purpose of life? No. Not to me. Finding contentment has to be my top priority.

Finding Contentment in Life

Life is beautiful, yes… but f I say to you that you should enjoy its beauty and be content with what you have, am I saying you shouldn’t try to achieve more? I don’t think so. I look at finding contentment as putting an end to strife, not putting an end to striving. Don’t ever stop improving. It does not hinder you to better your condition in this world, in your family or in your career.

You may want more, but as long as you appreciate what you have, there can be no wrong in seeking to better yourself. As the saying goes, be thankful for the life you have while fighting for the life you want. While doing that, though, give contentment a special place in your life because discontentment benefits no one. All it does is push you towards negativity which harms not only you but also everyone connected to you.

Damages of Discontentment

Jealously, comparison, restlessness, depression, and aggression are the major factors of discontentment. Discontentment leaves deep scars on your soul and sometimes damages life in such a way that the damage is irreparable.

Discontentment is lust for money, material pleasure, fame, prestige, and power. The result is rivalry, bitterness, greed, covetousness, and jealousy. Cutthroat competition crops up everywhere be it career, family or academic levels. No one is satisfied with what they have. Self-sufficiency has taken the backseat.

Have we ever thought about what we are getting from these things? Are we benefiting from these feelings or actions? If the answer is No, then why not get better at finding contentment?

Finding contentment in life &  finding peace

There are two tents: content and discontent. It is up to you which one you live in. If contentment is profit, discontentment is loss; if contentment is happiness then discontentment is sadness. Contentment leads you to peace, happiness, self-sufficiency, and love towards human beings and spirituality.

Make a checklist and find out whether you are closer to finding contentment, or further away now than ever.

  • What is important for you?
  • Are you happy?
  • What makes you happy?
  • Which of your needs are not being met?

If you find out the answers to your happiness are things that come from within yourself then you are contented.

Conclusion

Finding contentment in life is the key to happiness which brings us internal, and eternal, peace. A contented mind free of turbulence. That helps foment positive thinking. Contentment is an instrument in shaping your life. All the worldly things (riches and power) are worthless without contentment. It is an investment which gives you inner peace, love, harmony, and connectivity to God, and that is something which money can never buy.

When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere ~ Francois La Rochefoucauld

So if you want to enjoy these benefits set yourself free from the cage of discontentment, start finding contentment and start living the life of your dreams.

Today’s article was written by Vandana Sehgal and is shared from the following website: https://www.wisdomtimes.com/blog/why-contentment-is-important-in-life/

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The Unexpected Key to Loving Others

You can give without loving But you cannot love without giving Amy Carmichael

“Stand guard at the portal of your mind.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all know that love is a powerful emotion that has the ability to lift us up, inspire us and make us feel at peace. Studies show that being in love can actually lower your blood pressure and protect against heart disease. There is no disputing that love has positive benefits for our emotional and physical health, which is why so many people expend vast amounts of energy seeking love and doling it out to others around them. Yet how many people invest as much energy into loving themselves as they do in trying to love others around them?

Just as an experiment, I ask you to take one minute and think about what you truly think about yourself. How do you talk to yourself on a regular basis? Do you praise yourself for your achievements, or chide yourself for your failures and shortcomings? When you’re feeling down, do you treat yourself with tenderness and care or anger and frustration? Do you take care of yourself physically or have tendencies to neglect your health? And finally, would you speak to other people you care about the same way you speak to yourself?

If you leaned toward the latter in any of the above, it may be time to think about directing some love back at yourself. Self-love is the essence of all love, as this is where you truly begin to cultivate kindness and compassion. And although the saying, “You must love yourself before you can love anyone else” may be a tad overused, there is a great deal of truth in this notion.

Once you begin to love yourself, you develop a much deeper understanding of how to care for others in a way that is healthy and healing. Although there are many ways you can learn to love yourself more, I suggest starting with the basic notion of a mother’s love for a child. A mother is constantly tuning in to her child’s emotions to determine what the child needs, then attending to those needs with kindness, gentleness, and compassion. A mother will support and encourage her child through thick or thin and attempt to be a positive guiding force throughout the child’s life.

If you can be a loving steward to your own thoughts and emotions and a gentle calming voice much like a mother or guardian angel might be, then you will soon find that your loneliness starts to dissipate, your self-esteem rises, and you will be filled with a great deal of love and compassion to give back to the world.

Once you learn to love yourself, you can then offer that love to others in the same form — that is, tender words, a gentle glance, a kind touch and the ability to inspire self-love in others. By doing so, you are not only benefitting your own health and well-being but that of others around you as well. In fact, even something as simple as a soft touch can have benefits for physical and emotional health.

A recent study by doctors in the UK shows that human touch is vital to brain development in children and key to facilitating a healthy sense of the body and self. The study also suggests that a caressing touch can lower anxiety levels and that effective touch at every stage of life is important for emotional health. Thus, even the smallest gesture of kindness can have a profound effect on well-being.

In addition, the Harvard School of Public Health reports that positive emotions, like enthusiasm, hopefulness, and optimism, can greatly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and depression. These positive attitudes can be cultivated by self-regulating behavior as well as having a supportive network of family and friends. So by offering someone encouragement and support, you may also be lowering their risk of disease.

If we truly want to create a world where love, caring, and compassion comes first, we have to start at the source — ourselves. It is only through self-love that we can begin to give ourselves to others in any beneficial way. To leave you with another Emerson quote that sums up this notion perfectly, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

Self-love is where the journey truly begins and where divine abundance comes from.

Today’s article was written by Dr. Cynthia Thalk and is shared from the following website: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-cynthia-thaik/practice-self-love-to-rea_b_5399513.html

 

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Finding the Good in Life

Find the Small Things

 

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