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'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.
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.