Thankfulness is an attitude of gratitude that changes everything immediately. Here are three quick ways to change your mind’s melancholy mood into a happy heart.
LIST: For immediate action in the right direction, write a list of things that you are grateful for. This gets the mind focused on the left-brain activity of using words to express itself. You can list people, places, and things. Listing random “nouns” also keeps you from thinking of the specific person or events that have cause you to feel down.
When I am upset because of an argument or disappointment, this method works the fastest. I begin with the most simple of things: flushing toilets, water for cleaning my clothes, this pair of socks that I am wearing, etc. From there, I begin to think of where I have worn these shoes, what a good time it was, and that there will be good times ahead.
There is nothing too mundane when it comes to what there is to be thankful for. Your mind will happily lead you to increasingly positive thoughts when you force it to go in a new direction. Save these lists in a special place for returning to your happy place on demand.
SURF: Many of us get sucked into the mindless blur of surfing the Net. We can also use the Internet with the intention of creating a relaxing space in our minds. Creating gratitude albums on the net is encouraging and can be used again later when we find ourselves in the same emotional spot.
While my mother was passing away from cancer, I created a YouTube playlist of the songs she loved. Over the years, I listen to this list anytime that I miss her and it cheers me up. When I was moving to another state, I created a Facebook photo album of all my friends. When I miss my friends, I look at this album. Then I send them a message or card in the mail to say hello for instant cheer.
Pinterest is also a great place to collect photos of things that you are grateful for. Your Pinterest album may even end up being someone else’s go-to cheer-up link when they are surfing for encouragement. As Joyce Meyer says, “While you are waiting for your break-through, help someone else with their break-through.” We all need cheering up sometimes.
CRAFT: Crafting is my favorite escape from long-term troubles. When I have a problem that I can’t solve, I tap into the creative nature of the right brain and give my serious side a rest. This method allows your mind to figure out its rationalizations and/or solutions without your having to participate in the negative parts.
As they say, fake it ’til you make it. Create a vision board of gratefulness by cutting and pasting the great things that you have in your life. Draw arrows from what they look like now and what you want them to look like in the future. Imagine the gratefulness you will feel when they come true.
Engage in any craft you like: sewing, card-making, wood-crafts. Whatever hobby you do when you are feeling good is the exact hobby to do to start thinking good thoughts again. Keep a children’s coloring book and crayons handy for emergencies. Don’t knock it ’til you try it. Hello Kitty helped me keep my mouth closed through an argument or two. You may want to bite the crayon instead, but I promise that coloring a grateful heart works better.