30 Posts of enCOURAGEment Post 30

Here it is, post 30 of the series.   I bet in the beginning you did not know where I was heading as I wrote about Susan Boyle and Bob Hope.  Part way through I said to my husband, “why didn’t I do 20 posts of enCOURAGEment instead of 30?”  The goal was daunting at times but  I  learned  a lot.  So how do I wrap this up?  What words of encouragement do I have for you?

Encouragement can come in many forms, from all sorts of places and people.   Recently someone tactfully pointed out to me, that perhaps I was missing some of the encouragers God has put in my life.  I knew she was right.  It is so easy to get sidetracked and feel as though we are moving through life alone and unnoticed.  We have to constantly bring ourselves back to reality.

How do we remedy not noticing the encouragers God has given to us?

  • Contemplation: spending quiet time thinking about the different areas in life and the people that have been or are there to encourage us along.
  • Documentation: Get out your gratitude journal or start one and write out the thoughts of gratitude for each person on thegratitude-journal list.  Document how they have encouraged you, what that meant to you, and how it made you feel. This can be broken up over the course of days or week.  Gratitude journals are not to be rushed through.

What do we do from there?

  • I try to thank people for encouraging me, helping me or blessing me in some other way.  I try to be as specific as I can.
  • Sometimes I will send a note or email thanking them.
  • On occasion a gift may even be in order.Gratitude-Image-440

Why bother being grateful? Alex Korb , Ph.D. in his Psychology Today article discusses the impact of gratitude on the brain.

  • One study showed “young adults assigned to keep gratitude journals showed greater increases in determination, attention, enthusiasm and energy compared to the other groups.”
  • Another study showed “even a weekly gratitude journal was beneficial.  Subjects assigned to journal weekly on gratitude showed greater improvements in optimism.”
  • a third study found that “higher levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep, and with lower anxiety and depression.”
  • They found that “subjects who showed more gratitude overall had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus. This is important because the hypothalamus controls a huge array of essential bodily functions, including eating, drinking and sleeping. It also has a huge influence on your metabolism and stress levels.”

Gratitude should definitely be in the arsenal of tools we use to help us reclaim our lives after a diagnosis of lupus or other autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Korb says, “Gratitude requires an appreciation of the positive aspects of your situation. It is not a comparison. Sometimes noticing what other people don’t have may help you see what you can be grateful for, but you have to take that next step. You actually have to show appreciation for what you have, for it to have an effect.”

I think it is time for me to get my Grace Journal out again.  This time I will be targeting the people God has placed in my life to encourage me in one way or another.  What perfect timing with Thanksgiving just around the corner.  Won’t you join me in the next few weeks and do the same?  The benefits are powerful and will give us strength for the busy holiday.

While I will continue to write this blog, I am going to add a second one titled Wisdom from God’s WordClick here for background information.  Wisdom from God’s Word will simply be daily verses from the bible that will hopefully encourage you and help you on your journey.

I am grateful for you my reader.  I am grateful for the strength and ability to have been able to write this blog for the last 3 years.  I 4507324am grateful for the people who have encouraged me along the way. Thank you. Leslie Rose K

Gratitude-on-Purpose

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Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brenda on November 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    It is easy to miss the encouragers in our life Leslie when we are down and out. I find that if I go have some quiet time to pray and go over the days events I find that I have many things to be grateful about. I have many people who are always here to encourage me that I know and are my friends and many that I don’t personally know and just know on line, but encourage me anyway. I especially feel very encouraged by many people since this journey with Dwayne’s cancer has begun. You my friend are one of the encouraging people to me. So thank you for your support, your love!! Even in our darkest moments, there is always something to be thankful for or someone who is encouraging us. We just have to stop and listen. God will always be with us no matter what. Love and hugs, Brenda

    Reply

    • It is always good to hear your thoughts. Yes we do have to work at gratitude but are much better off for it. I am so glad you have many to support you on this journey with your husband. Yes, the best thing, God is with us.

      Reply

  2. Excellent post, Leslie! I love the idea of a gratitude journal. Thanksgiving would be a great time for me to start one.

    Reply

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