Yesterday at church, I help teach the four and five year-olds and we talked about being thankful. It’s November and of course the church is getting ready for Thanksgiving and teaching the kids about thankfulness is just part of that. However, thankfulness in itself is a really powerful weapon against depression and anxiety.
Stop for a minute today, think of a situation that is causing you stress or anxiety and write down 5 things about it you are thankful for and then every time that stressful situation pops in your head, say to yourself, but I’m thankful for…. Pretty soon that situation won’t seem so impossible.
Let me give you an example. Last week I wrote about my oldest traveling alone to a horse show. I was full of anxiety about it but besides praying one of the things I would say is. Thank you God that she gets to be with the horses today. Thank you God that she had a ride there and a ride home. Thank you God that it didn’t rain in till she got there. Thank you God we packed extra underwear, (she had to stay an extra day.) Thank you God that I have a brave, kind, daughter who loves those animals.
Being thankful changes your focus. We are blessed beyond measure but we don’t always see it through our problems. It also reminds us that the God of the universe is on our side, fighting for us. It reminds us of the grace and mercy he extends to us. Have you ever heard of someone getting to the hospital right on time. That’s God taking care of them and that’s something to be so thankful for. Many of my friends will do a Facebook posts about what they are thankful for every day in November, leading up to Thanksgiving. That’s a wonderful way to celebrate the month but we need to do this 365 days a year. You can’t be depressed if your thankful about your life. Fighting depression and anxiety for many people is more than just taking antidepressants, you need to change your view of your world. You need to create new good habits and paths for your mind to follow. Thinking thankful thoughts helps make those new paths in your brain. It helps fight anxiety and depression.
Today, whatever problem you are facing there are things surrounding it you can be thankful for. Look for them and soak in them for a moment and focus on those things instead of worry or anxiety.