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Gratitude in Place of Anxiety

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The title might sound a little strange for a Thanksgiving post, but believe it or not this is what I have been planning on writing about since I started thinking about a Thanksgiving post!

My counselor gave me some advice awhile back and it has stayed with me ever since.  She said, “Whenever you are upset, worried, or afraid thank God for something.” What? I thought.  To me it didn’t make sense.

She went on to explain that women often go to bed with a lot on their mind, especially herself. “They are thinking about the next day’s appointments and schedule, they are worried over something that happened that day, and thus they are anxious and overwhelmed.” That made sense to me since that is pretty much how I am at night.

She told me how to turn it around. She suggested thanking God every time I was worried or afraid. It didn’t even have to be about the situation I was worried about, it could be anything at all. She said sometimes she just didn’t know where to start or even what to thank God for so she started with her sheets. She was laying in her bed one night and said, “Thank you God for my sheets,” She went on from there. “Thank you God for my bed.” And so on.

It almost sounded silly to me. Sheets? I thought. But when I really stopped to think about it I thought, Why not? I decided that I was going to try this method, and I went home and put it into action. Not only did I thank God for things at night before I went to bed, but I thanked him during the day too. Every time I felt alone, or overwhelmed, or worried about something, I thanked God for whatever came to mind. Thank You God for this day. Thank you God for my son. And so on.

I was surprised at how well this worked to calm my fears and aching heart and I realized that thanking God for things while I was afraid or stressed was turning my focus away from myself and my problems to God and the blessings He has given me.

If God is the God who has blessed me so much, then He for certain knows my fears and my worries as well. Thankfulness doesn’t have to wait for November or even for Thanksgiving Day, it can start right now even with the little things. I bet you will find you have more blessings than you realized!

What are YOU thankful for?

During this deployment I decided to take this advice one step further. I started keeping a list of things I was thankful for anytime it came to mind. Here is my list:

Thank you God for…

  • My friends- those who have been there for me during this deployment and through the ups and downs.
  • Technology that keeps my husband and I connected while miles and miles apart.
  • My treadmill so I can exercise, feel good about myself, and look good for my husband.
  • My son. He is such a joy in my life.
  • For the progress my son is making in therapy.
  • For church services that are uplifting and just what I need.
  • For military wives. A rare breed of wonderful women who are able to understand what I’m going through.
  • For yoga. For the relief and quietness it brings.
  • For my Power of Attorney(s) that allow me to do certain things while my husband is gone.
  • For music. Music that heals, uplifts, and just makes things better.
  • For family. I love them!
  • For each new day. Such a blessing!
  • For each new month, because one more month means one month closer to my husband’s homecoming.
  • For hot showers – nothing like it!
  • For my husband. My love, my life, my blessing.
  • For money. Because even though we don’t get paid alot in the military, it’s still enough to meet our needs.
  • For nap time. Sweet sweet nap time.
  • For counseling and good advice.
  • For heat and air conditioner in our house.
  • For life, for which You are in control.

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  1. What a wonderful idea! I know that if I’m really stressed at night and can’t get to sleep, I just have to start praying and I drift off fairly quickly as it relaxes me so much, lol!

  2. Such good advice that I could use right now. I too go to sleep many nights worrying and thinking about the next day’s needs. I do find that praying calms my anxiety, I just need to remember to do it more often!
    I hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Yes,I know what you mean. Once we start remembering I think it will come as habit, pray more worry less! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  3. These are all grate thankful-fors. I have a similar thing I do I call grateful-for. It helps calm me down when I’m feeling anxious and worried, and reminds that actually there is a lot in my life that is wonderful and I must be thankful for those blessings. We don’t celebrate it here, but I do hope you have a very happy thanksgiving. God bless. xo

    1. Love it! Sounds like it is something that is a big help to you and you are so right there is a lot in all of our lives that is wonderful and to be thankful for. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! 🙂 I checked out your blog – super cute!

  4. This is wonderful! I have found myself very down and having a hard time focusing on the right things. I will definitely being using your advice. There are so many things to be thankful for! Have a great day!

    1. I hope it has helped you. It’s hard sometimes when we’re down, because sometimes we honestly just don’t want to be thankful. but once you start you can’t stop and it just improves your mood! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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