Releasing Unexplainable Joy: How To Fit In Gratitude

Yesterday, was one of those days.  People bailing out on things I expected them to take care.

Others making demands of me for things they could easily accomplish.

Getting blind-sided by a sharp response from a friend when I was trying to help.

By the end of the day I was grumbling, “Why doesn’t everyone just leave me the heck alone.  I’m tired of this garbage.”

 

Photo by Swamibu

Photo by Swamibu

 

In the evening I was still wound up until I took a hot shower and climbed into bed to read.  Finally, I settled down.  Not happy but at least thinking, “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”

While getting ready this morning, I was still thinking about the frustrations of yesterday.  But in the light of a new day they didn’t seem so important.

 

Slowly I peeked out from under the cloud and looked around at all I have to be thankful for.

 

I thanked God for the beautiful day.  It’s cooled off from record heat.

I thanked him for blessing us so abundantly.

For his constant presence which I sense.

For good health.

For a great wife and a blessed marriage.

I thanked him for our children who delight me.

And suddenly the frustrations melted away.  Ideas popped up of how to deal with some of the issues.  The rest I’m not worried about.  They’re small stuff.

There will be future frustrating days.  But I’ve discovered what helps center me in peace again.

 

We all get bombarded with the negatives.

 

We’re stressed by our jobs, marriages, raising kids, paying mortgages.  Then throw in those at work who drop the ball and a government that seems to lurch about aimlessly.  As well as all the bad news which constantly assaults us.  It’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed.

Stress is a normal reaction.  But if we don’t release it it’s killing.

There are many ways to relieve stress.  Exercise, sleep, diet, meditation all help.  But one of the most amazing to me is programming in time for gratitude.

I start my day with it.  As I get ready in the morning, instead of having on the radio or TV I spend the time thanking God for all the things I’m grateful for.

For some people positive uplifting music helps as well.  Christian radio stations, internet radio, music in your smart phone.  But let it be music that will encourage and nourish your soul.  Music that focuses your thoughts on God and all the good he’s given.

When I drive home in the evening, again it’s a time to remember all the blessings I have.  And sometimes I’ll have on a Christian radio station.

And before I go to sleep I thank God again for the day and his presence.

I find no matter what I’m hit with this changes my focus.  It gets my eyes off the problems and onto the one who can solve them.  And it focuses me on the blessings I already have which often makes the current challenges seem less ominous.

And yes joy comes again.

 

Paul writes, “Sing in your heart to the Lord.  And continually give thanks to God for everything.  Then you will be filled with the power of God’s Spirit.” (Ephesians 5: 18-20)

 

Rejoicing when you don’t feel it releases joy you don’t expect.

 

What about you?  What do you do to release that unexplainable joy?

 

Did this post encourage you.  Please share it to encourage a friend.  Blessings!