At the end of the day, it seems that most of us are drawn to all the things that went wrong. We have a propensity for being disappointed for the things that didn’t go according to plan; that did not meet our expectations; that negatively impacted us; or the people that propagated these circumstances.
When we watch the evening news, the programming focuses on topics that are negative in nature. The headlines are usually all about what has gone wrong today, or this past week.
If you ask someone how they are doing and then give them 10 minutes to speak, more often than not, their speech will turn to those things that are wrong in their little world.
If you have children, and you ask them how their day at school went, if they talk for any length of time, you will most likely hear a plethora of isolated but very dramatic events that disrupted their happiness.
Developing an attitude of gratitude it seems, must be an intentional exercise. One of the best ways to do this is by keeping a journal or putting together a blessings box.
If you are interested in keeping a journal, take the time at the end of the day for 30 days to write down three things that you are grateful for. Make each day a different three things. This practice does a couple things for you.
First, it begins to train your mind to think differently about your day. If you are like most people, your default setting is to remember and be disappointed in what went wrong. This exercise will train your brain to give more and better attention to the things that bless us.
Secondly, it gives you repository of things that are good. When you need them, they are there to remind you that life isn’t as bad as it may seem, or that God isn’t as absent as He appears to be.
Another option is to keep a blessings box. I was turned onto this idea several years ago. The idea is to begin collecting cards, letters, and other mementos that remind you of how important you are to other people. When I am feeling down, I return to those cards, letters, and mementos to remind me that I matter. When I am reminded that I have value and a purpose, it helps me to be grateful no matter my circumstances.