I have heard, and tested out the theory, that it is impossible to feel stress and breathe deeply at the same time. I have also found that worry and gratitude cannot coexist. When I begin to feel worried and anxious about financial matters, personal situations, or the future, I have only to look for the blessings around me to regain perspective and trust in my heavenly Father. Do I make this sound easy? The formula is simple, but remembering to practice this principle is a challenge for me. At times, I could kick myself for getting stuck in the negative and forgetting to practice gratitude.
On the days I remember, I make a game of looking for things that I can be grateful for. Personally, I love nature, birds, sunsets and delight in finding new blooms or varieties of flowers to enjoy. I find joy in the antics of children, in the funny things they say and do, especially my grandchildren.
I read once about a woman who had a humor drawer where she collected funny cartoons, quotes, and photos that made her laugh. She also added cards and mementos from people who had expressed appreciation and love. When she would find herself feeling especially down or concerned, she would begin to read through the contents of the drawer and this would lift her spirit, make her laugh, and give her renewed perspective. Isn't that a great idea?