Living With a Grateful Heart

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Rejoice always, never stop praying and give thanks in all circumstances. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A grateful heart is a beautiful thing but giving thanks in all circumstances can be easier said than done. We all face hard times in our lives. This verse is not suggesting that we sweep our emotions and struggles under the carpet, lift our chin up and pretend to be happy. There’s a difference between confiding and complaining. Confiding to those we trust can breathe life into difficult circumstances. Complaining just to complain sucks the life right out of us. 
From my experience, the more we complain the more that becomes our default behavior and over time it gets easier to find the negative than it does the positive. There are tons of studies that show complaining can actually rewire our brains for negativity too, despite how good it may feel. 
I’ve been the most ungrateful when I think I deserve better (entitlement), when I think I’m too good for something (pride) or when I don’t want to do something (selfishness). I also catch myself complaining as way of relating in order to connect with someone. 
Coincidentally, my most bored, unsettled and lonely times have been when I get caught up in thinking the world revolves around me. I’ve heard it called “me-ism” and that type of thinking never satisfies in the way we think it will. 
I want to be better about pausing before I make a complaint and instead exercise gratitude in those moments. 
The good news is if we want to cultivate strong, healthy relationships and an overall healthier mindset, it is a perspective shift that can be learned and a discipline that can be put into practice every single day. 
Even in the difficult circumstances.
Even with busy schedules. 
Even with daily inconveniences. 
Even when our hearts don’t feel like being grateful. 
Sometimes the simplest things require the most amount of discipline. 
#wellnessbylittle #ichoosegratitude