All posts tagged: Gratitude

From deep water to joy

When I work with people who have gone through deep waters – whose life experience includes trauma that overwhelmed their resilience and robbed them of their ability to cope – I sometimes recall my own traumatic journey and the path I took to wellness. From that journey, I learned to embrace joy – not the faux emotion we sometimes confuse with happiness, but the deep, abiding awareness that even in the midst of the worst of life experience, it is possible to align your spirit with the God who is the source of all that is good and glorious in the universe. Joy is to happiness as celebration is to gratitude. And it is in that realization that I gained an insight into one of the most essential and consequential truths of mental wellness – a realization that has made me a far more effective therapist. It has long been a mainstay of mental health treatment to encourage those suffering from depression to cultivate and foster an “attitude of gratitude” – to identify those things …

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Cultivating thanksgiving

Yesterday started out well but then in the afternoon I had a couple of hours of frustration when something didn’t go the way I wanted. I ended up taking two hours to complete a task that should have taken 10 minutes. But me, computers and technology don’t always see eye to eye. I quickly fell into a slump and was starting to get depressed. I was surprised how quickly things had taken a turn for the worse. I knew I needed to pull myself out of this slump and real quick. The Apostle Paul tells us to: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) All circumstances, describe good and bad and in the midst of bad we are to give thanks. Paul was right, because according to writer J.D. Roth, studies show that roughly 10% of our happiness is determined by our circumstances and 40% of our happiness comes from “intentional activity” which involves what we think and do. Knowing what will …

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Is thanksgiving a key to unlocking answered prayer?

This past year I realized I was receiving noticeable answers to prayer and I believe it was tied to thankfulness. I could keep praying, pleading and asking God for what was on my heart but I knew at some point I needed to start thanking Him for the answers as well. Although I did not understand it at the time, I believe the reason for my prayer answers was a result of consciously including thanksgiving in my petitions. Gratitude acknowledged my faith in God for answers I had not yet received. “Who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” (Romans 4:17 NKV) Thankfulness calls into being that which does not yet exist. It gives life to our requests, creating the movement that brings  answered prayer forward to the present. Being thankful for answers yet to come is the springboard to faith, the catalyst that gives life to our prayers. By being thankful, I was believing instead of doubting. An expectancy accompanied me throughout the day.  The spiritual atmosphere …

Marriage is a balancing act Photo: kylesteed/Flickr

Study: Thankfulness is the key to a successful marriage

A survey conducted by researchers with the University of Georgia concluded that thankfulness is a key to success in a marriage relationship. They even suggested that thankfulness will actually protect a marriage from divorce. The researchers gathered this information through a telephone survey of 468 married people. They quizzed them in several areas including financial, feelings of gratitude and communication. They discovered that gratitude or thankfulness was the most important indicator of the quality of the marriage, even exceeding good communication. They found that  during times of marital conflicts involving fighting and other forms of negative communication that expressions of thankfulness can counteract these feelings. Speaking on behalf of the group, Allen Barton, a postdoctoral research associate at the university’s Center for Family Research, said: “It goes to show the power of ‘thank you.’ Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other area, gratitude in a relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.” The researchers found that financial stress in particular can lead to criticism or nagging which can cause the other …