Thankfulness may be the last thing on your mind when you encounter an unexpected pregnancy. But gratitude may be exactly what’s needed to help you move through this experience in ways that bring you joy and hope.
Don’t believe it’s possible? Read on.
Why be Thankful?
Research shows that when we’re stressed, gratitude can help us in four huge ways:
- We find healthier ways to cope
- We’re quicker to sense support from others
- We experience fewer negative emotions
- We gain more patience
Apparently, gratitude changes the way we see life. When we’re grateful, we develop a positive outlook that makes life feel easier to live. We see the world as a friendlier, more hospitable place. And we believe we can come up with positive solutions for our problems.
In your unexpected season, wouldn’t those ways of seeing life be valuable? If you’re ready to go there, then let’s look at how to become steeped in gratitude.
How to be Thankful
Some people are quick to find the good in their tough circumstances. Others have to work at it. Which kind of person are you?
Most of us find we have to start by practicing gratitude. To help you on your way to feeling more thankful (right now, even in your challenging circumstances) try some of these suggestions:
- Create a habit of gratitude. Each day write down what you’re grateful for in a journal. It may help to remind yourself with a note on the mirror saying, “Be Thankful!”
- Watch your language. Talk about your day (your year, your life) using words like gifts, blessings, surprises, fortunate, abundant… And don’t forget to simply say, “Thank you” to people.
- Look back. Remember how far you’ve come. What helpful things have you learned? In what way have you improved? What changes have you made? What do you have now that you didn’t have before?
- Look forward. Expect to find new reasons to be thankful. When you see today’s clouds, look for their silver lining.
- Savor the good things. We human beings tend to let happy moments slip away too fast. So resolve instead to fully enjoy the good things in your life—whether it’s the beauty of a starry night, the flavor of a juicy burger, or the warmth of a favorite blanket… Don’t overlook your “ordinary” blessings.
- Wear other shoes. Put yourself in the shoes of someone whose life is even more stressful than yours. Then you’ll see more clearly how much you have to be thankful for.
What is There to be Thankful About?
Once you’ve decided you’re going to rock this gratitude thing, you’ll probably start seeing reasons to be thankful all around you.
At Choices Pregnancy Center, we get to spend a lot of time with pregnant women—and we’ve all been pregnant ourselves. So we’ve all got our favorite things to be thankful for about pregnancy. Maybe you’ll find you’re grateful for some of these, too:
- New life: Someone brand new is coming into the world!
- New opportunity: You get to love and be loved by a whole new person.
- Relationships: Who are you finding you can depend on more than you thought? Are there supportive friends whom you would never have met but for this pregnancy?
- Inner strength: What have you discovered you can handle that you never could before?
- Your amazing body: Savor the positive physical changes that come with pregnancy. (There’s that fascinating feeling of your baby moving inside you. There’s the way you’re designed to provide a safe, nurturing place for a growing child. And for some of us, larger breasts are a plus—think of the celebrities who have to pay for that!)
May you find many simple, silly, delightful, unforgettable things to be thankful for in this unexpected season of your life.
(And, by the way, hang onto that gratitude journal! You’ll want to look back on it in years to come.)
We hope your gratitude increases with time and practice.
If we can be of help to you—
by walking with you through your pregnancy and beyond,
or by helping you get the supplies and services you need—
please don’t hesitate to call or text us to set up a visit today.
We’d love to give you lots of reasons to be thankful!