Overcome Negative Thinking
with Gratitude:  Part Two

Couple hugging

This focus on gratitude includes eight more times each day that you can remind yourself to give thanks.  

You can find part one of this series here.

The premise of these two posts is that when you take a moment to be grateful for something, your negative thoughts take a back seat to the positive feelings you generate with gratitude.

This can snowball into many benefits for your emotional as well as physical health.

Here are the next eight suggestions for finding time for gratitude during your day:

7.  Special Events

A meaningful time to focus on gratitude is when something special occurs: 

Your birthday (or the birthday of a loved one)
Your anniversary
The birth of your child
You get a promotion or a raise
Your wedding day
The speech you just gave got a round of applause

You may even find yourself looking for something special to occur so you can take that moment to give thanks.  And you usually find what you’re looking for.

9.    When Brushing Your Teeth

In the previous episode, I mentioned the shower was a good place to ponder thoughts of gratitude.  In this episode, we’ll return to the bathroom to ponder more positive thoughts while brushing your teeth.

When doing this activity, you’re probably standing in front of a mirror.  Make eye contact with yourself and say “thank you.”  How do those words make you feel?

10.    Before Starting Work

Whether or not you love your work, the fact that you have a job is something to be grateful for. 

Take a deep breath before you set to work and feel gratitude for the day ahead and the things you can accomplish during it.

11.    At the End of Your Workday

The same holds true at the end of your day.  Take a moment before you leave your desk or work station to feel grateful for what you accomplished, knowing you did your best.

12.    When Taking a Break

Whether you’re taking a break from work, play, household chores, kids, etc., this is a terrific time for a little reflection. 

Breathe in while thinking about the good parts of your day so far.  Hold that breath for a few seconds with a smile.  Now exhale and give thanks for those good things you just thought about.

13.    While Stuck in Traffic

Heavy traffic can put many people in a state of stress and tension, which may affect not only your emotions, but your physical health. 

Emotional stress can put physical stress on your heart, possibly leading to disease if this goes unchecked.  Bringing up positive feelings keeps your heart rhythms steady and promotes cardiovascular efficiency.* 

So next time your find yourself surrounded by a sea of other commuters, focus on gratitude and fill your heart with positivity.

14.    Waiting in Line

I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting in line.  Whether at the grocery store, the movie theater, or the DMV, we just want to get through it as quickly as we can and get on with our business at hand.

Try giving your impatience a break by finding something to give thanks for while you wait.  You may find that your time in line flies by.

15.    Hugging Someone Special

Hugs help create a special bond between two people.  We hug in greeting, when saying goodbye, to comfort, in celebration or a moment of joy.  We also hug to acknowledge a connection that’s already there.

What better time to feel grateful than when in an embrace?  It may make your hug even more meaningful than you intended.  Try it and let me know here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 15 suggestions for finding time to focus on gratitude. 

Our days are filled with busy-ness, so it’s important to focus on various points when we can take just a second and do something to create positive feelings.


“An Appreciative Heart is Good Medicine” The Institute of Heartmath, accessed March 6, 2015, http://www.heartmath.com/blog/articles/an-appreciative-heart-is-good-medicine/

Read Part One of this series

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