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3 Tips for Cultivating Gratitude

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Did you know that positive thoughts can literally rewire your brain?

A friend let me borrow Dr. Caroline Leaf's book, Who Switched Off My Brain and it really opened my eyes to the science behind a healthy thought life.

Jennie Allen recently published a book called Get Out of Your Head, which is full of similar themes as Dr. Leaf's book. I love listening to Jennie's podcast too, where she explores many of the key concepts found in her book. Right now I am listening to an episode called How to Stop Anxious Thoughts.

I also recently connected with a Kate on Instagram, who created a Thought Life 30-Day Challenge Devotional and Workbook. The Thought Life Challenge is a Bible Study to replace anxiety with gratitude, fear with hope and negativity with joy. You can find it on her Etsy shop here.

I'm not an expert in positive thinking, but I have been intentionally trying to cultivate gratitude in my life. Over the last 7 months I've been writing a gratitude list almost every single day and watched how it changed my heart and perspective.

I'm reminded of the Bible verses found in Philippians 4: 8-9:

If you are feeling really anxious, try three of my go to tips for cultivating gratitude:

1. Write a list of things you are thankful for everyday.

Find a cozy corner in your house, grab your favorite blanket, a journal (or any piece of paper laying around your house - even the back of a receipt would work) and make a short list of what you are thankful for. If you are really struggling to come up with some positives just start small with 3 things you are thankful for, then up the number to 5 and so on. You may surprise yourself and write pages and pages once you develop the habit.

*My favorite pens to journal with are the Pilot G2 pens. Get crazy with all the fun colors if you can splurge.

2. Do a social media detox.

Suddenly when we aren't staring at a screen everything is better! One of the best tips I've heard about avoiding social media overwhelm is to "parent your phone." The idea is that you put your phone up 1-2 hours before you go to bed and don't look at it until you are 1-2 hours into your morning routine. I've found the concept to be a helpful for me personally!

3. Move your body.

In a world of never-ending options for podcasts and self-help books sometimes we forget the phone and importance of actually moving our bodies. I'm currently 35 weeks pregnant so the best form of exercise I can do right now is walking or pre-natal yoga. If the weather is nice, move your body outside and get some sunshine. The vitamin D will reduce your likelihood of becoming depressed. Read more about the benefits of vitamin D here.

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