We are two weeks into our three week quest to make gratitude part of what we do every day and the more I research this, the more incredible it is. If you're a parent (or a spouse, or a co-worker, or a friend), this is critical.
Get this: The Laboratory of Neuro Imaging reports that the average person has about seventy-thousand thoughts every day. Most of them are similar and are repeated again and again. Most of them are also negative. Surprising, right?
Okay, so let's say you recognize this when it happens and you tell yourself to stop thinking those negative things. Problem solved? Nope. Research shows that doesn't work because our minds will focus on the negative thought, rather than the stopping. As renowned psychiatrist, Carl Jung used to say, what you resist persists.
Here’s where gratitude comes in. It can actually help stop negative thought patterns by replacing them with something positive. In time, it will also lessen the number of negative thoughts you have because you’ll have trained your mind to look for the good and, thereby, you’ll absorb less of the bad. This is important for everyone, but especially for moms and dads who have to manage personalities and schedules and logistics and drama. God knows it's not easy.
Of course, this change doesn't happen overnight, which is why I’m flooding my blog with this for three weeks, the time it takes to make daily gratitude a habit. Just six days to go, Underdogs! Change your thought patterns and you’ll change your life.
It's Day 15 of The Big Joy of Little Things and here are a few items on my list:
55. Going to see the movie, “Bad Moms,” with girlfriends, laughing hysterically and going home knowing it's okay that I'm not a perfect mom. In fact, it's okay that I'm not even close. But I am trying.
56. A friend from church who taught me to pray not just for someone I care about who is in a negative situation, but also for those who are at the heart of that negativity, leading the way.
57. Low gas prices.
58. A full moon hung high on a clear night. Magical.
Less than a week to go, joy seekers! Stay grateful!