Last Sunday, lying in bed, I wrote down a few thoughts. I listed all the positive things that happened over the weekend. I whispered a prayer of thanks to God for each experience.
Something interesting happened. As I wrote positive memories, more happy events came to mind: just little things about the Sunday church service or sights I saw while hiking on Saturday.
Each little memory made me smile. I thought, “You know, this sense of satisfaction and peace creates such a nice way to fall asleep.” I woke up the next morning rested and energized.
Of course, we know that Scripture exhorts us to give God thanks. Scientific research proves that gratitude benefits our sense of well-being. For example, when people write letters of gratitude to other people or when they record positive things, they experience increased well-being.
Reflecting on positive experiences and especially writing them down builds a positive mental outlook. It helps me reframe my mindset. It makes me feel better and reduces my stress. Also, as I mentioned, it’s a great way to go to sleep on a Sunday night!
Here’s the really great news and the main point: positive thoughts create positive emotions; positive emotions energize us to work hard and live fully!
You can easily cultivate a highly beneficial habit of reflecting more on the positive experiences of life.
Take me for an example. I don’t journal every day or even every week. Still, last year, I made the primary topic of my journaling gratitude and thanksgiving. I purposely wrote about positive things. (Of course I wrote about problems, too, and whatever was on my mind.)
After focusing on gratefulness and thanksgiving for a year, I’ve formed a habit. This good habit helps me reframe my sometimes anxious or negative thoughts into a more positive mindset.
Shift your mental focus to positive things and to really savor them. Otherwise, they just run through the fingers of your memory and rapidly fade into the forgotten.
Reflect on your blessings. Allow your soul to savor the goodness. Otherwise, you may find yourself dashing past a blessing to focus on the next problem at hand.
My challenge to you this next week – take time to reflect upon, give thanks for and even write down the little things that bring a smile to your face. Record them, perhaps talk to others about them. See if it doesn’t brighten your mood and energize your life!
Finally, if journaling is something of a mystery for you, you may want to view my very simple Journaling for Insight graphic.