In the busy pace of our modern lives, it can be a struggle to focus on feeling blessed, not stressed. Especially since stress seems to have become an almost constant companion. We tell ourselves that it is just the season we are in. And while that might be true to some degree, the reality is that there never really is a break. Life doesn’t ever really slow down.
I can throw out any season, and you will instantly find something that feels overwhelming during that time of year. From back to school, to managing the holidays, getting through a busy sports season, or the kids being home for summer break – each one brings a lot of unique challenges! In between those we have birthday parties, classroom parties, field trips, and volunteer commitments. We have jobs, demanding careers, and that project which is almost due. There is constantly house work, yard work, and laundry. And if your kids are like mine, they are always hungry. Every time I turn around someone is asking for just one. more. snack.
From juggling responsibilities at home and work, to managing personal relationships, we are constantly striving for our dreams – while also attempting to check off our never ending to-do list. And while it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the pressures of life (because it truly is a LOT), I encourage you to pause and check your perspective.
What if, instead of fixating on the stress, we consciously and intentionally focus on counting our blessings?
Choosing Gratitude Over Anxiety
Every day presents us with a choice: to be consumed by the never ending cycle of stress? Or to harness that energy and direct it towards a pursuit of gratitude?
When we allow stress to take center stage, it often clouds our judgment. It can even affect our physical well-being, and hinder our ability to see the beauty around us. But when we choose gratitude, we open ourselves up to a world of positivity and opportunity.
What if we looked at that work report with gratitude? Now that stressor becomes a blessing because it means you have a paycheck. The dirty laundry becomes appreciation for the clothes that you have. Housework can be joyful because it means you have the opportunity to enjoy a home. And those little humans who rely on you for their every need end up filling your most precious moments with genuine love.
Recognizing the Blessings Around Us
No matter how challenging life may seem, there are always blessings to be found. We just have to be willing to look for them. They might be as simple as taking a moment to look up at the sky and be thankful for the sunny day. Or enjoying a warm cup of coffee in your favorite chair.
But there are also bigger things, like being thankful for your health, your physical and mental abilities, or the opportunities you experience when out in your community.
By acknowledging these blessings, we can shift our focus away from stress and towards the positive aspects that fill our life.
The wonderful thing is that when you begin to deliberately practice searching for the blessings around you, more possibilities become noticeable. Without even realizing it, you begin to form mindfulness, which is the practice of being fully present in the moment.
This can be a powerful tool in the quest to replace the negative feelings of stress with the positivity of blessings. When we are mindful, we become attuned to the world around us. The rustling of leaves, the laughter of our children, and the taste of good food our now noticed and enjoyed. This practice not only helps to alleviate the overwhelm, but also deepens our appreciation for the countless thanksgivings that surround us.
Counting Your Blessings: A Daily Ritual
Creating a daily ritual of counting your blessings can transform your perspective and overall well-being. Do you like to journal? Meditate? Or spend time in prayer? Consider starting or ending each day by listing or reciting three things you’re grateful for. These could be achievements, experiences, or even the presence of loved ones. This small exercise will actively train your mind to focus on the positive, leaving less room for anxiety to take hold.
Conclusion – A Life of Abundance feeling Blessed, Not Stressed
In a world that bombards us with stressors, choosing to focus on our blessings is a conscious decision to live a life of abundance. It’s a reminder that amidst the chaos, there is beauty, joy, and love waiting to be embraced. So, the next time stress starts overtaking your mindset, take a step back. Take a deep breath. Focus on feeling blessed, not stressed. And shift your gaze towards the countless blessings that grace your life.