How to Reframe Your Thoughts with Gratitude

What We Think Matters

The quality and content of our thoughts impacts us on many levels. The way we think has an impact on our mental, emotional, and physical health. It can be easy to develop habits of negative thinking and self-talk. Like any habit we can change how we think and develop new thought patterns. Take a minute to reflect on these questions:

  • Do your thought patterns tend to be more positive or negative?
  • When thinking negatively how does it impact your day? How does it impact your actions and reactions?
  • Think of three things you are grateful for. How does it make you feel to practice gratitude? How does it change your perspective in this moment?

Positive thoughts and thoughts of gratitude can have many benefits to us. According the the Mayo Clinic these are just some of the benefits positive thoughts can have (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2022):

  1. Longer life span
  2. Lower rates of depression
  3. Decreased stress, distress, and pain
  4. Better overall well-being and quality of life
  5. Better coping skills and increased resilience

Paying Attention To Your Thoughts

It takes practice to pay attention to and change our thought patterns. Some of the ways we think are so ingrained in us that they come to mind subconsciously. These are called automatic thoughts and for a lot of us they tend to be negative (Hoshaw, 2020). The first step to changing these thoughts is to notice them. There are a couple of ways to do this including:

  • Write down all your thoughts in a journal throughout the day.
  • Simply pause and paying attention to your thoughts throughout the day.

Once you notice your thoughts you can then make efforts to change how you think.

Reframing Thoughts With Gratitude

You can change your thoughts by intentionally correcting negative thought patterns with positive thoughts. One way to do this is to reframe our thoughts with gratitude. Replacing our negative thoughts with grateful thoughts allows us to be present in the good things around us.

In the image below is an example of how you can do this.

This takes practice! You can practice by journaling your negative thought patterns and then writing a replacement thought of gratitude. Even simply confronting negative thoughts in our mind with grateful thoughts can make a huge impact to our thought life.

The more attention we put into having thoughts of gratitude, the easier it becomes to think grateful or positive thoughts naturally. To practice this now you can write out in your journal five negative thoughts you’ve had today and five reframed thoughts of gratitude.


Hoshaw, C. (2020). “Are You Kind to Yourself? Tracking Your Thoughts Might Surprise You”

Mayo Clinic Staff (2022). “Stress Management”

5 Benefits of Using Aroma Diffusers

There are many ways to integrate essential oils into your wellness routines! One of the most common ways is through using aromatic diffusers. There are two types of aromatic diffusers:

  • Active diffusers are either electric or battery operated appliances that uses water to carry the essential oils into the air.
  • Passive diffusers are solitary materials that carry essential oils. Common passive diffusers are lava beads and felt. I often use felt balls for passive diffusers.

Benefits of Using Diffusers

Essential oils are strong and come from plants with medicinal and therapeutic properties. Using an aromatic diffuser can be helpful in many ways! Here are several ways diffusers can be beneficial:

  • Fills the air with essential oils quickly.
  • Allows you to inhale the essential oils and potentially experience the benefits of the essential oils being diffused. Be careful to only diffuse essential oils that are safe for all in your household.
  • Can help relieve stress and promote relaxation (Cronkleton, 2019).
  • Can help increases clarity, focus, and attention (Homesick, 2020).
  • Can cleanse the air with the some of the essential oils antibacterial and antifungal properties (Lane, 2022)


Cronkleton, E. (2019) “How to Use Essential Oils

Homesick (2020) “16 Essential Oil Diffuser Benefits”

Lane, J. (2022) “12 Essential Oils Diffuser Benefits for Health and Wellness”

Importance of Identifying Our Emotions

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotions?

Have you ever felt like sharing your feelings is hard?

Me too!! It can be so hard to express ourselves when we are overwhelmed by our emotions! There are many reasons why this is true. One reason could be that we have not identified our emotions within ourselves. This may sound like a very basic idea, but naming and identifying our emotions helps us to know how to manage them.

Naming our emotions empowers us!! When we name them are are able to understand our needs, process how we are feeling, and identify what led to us having these feelings. This can be huge to knowing ourselves and being able to communicate our needs with others. Below is a list of emotions from Berkeley Wellness Institute:

Which one of these emotions speaks to you most today?


Journal Prompt: Affirmations

Affirmations can be life changing! The more we tell ourselves affirmations, even if we don’t believe them at first, the more we convince ourselves that they are true. Todays journal prompt is about choosing affirmations for a goal we are working towards.

Journal Prompt

What goal are you currently working on?

Write three positive affirmations for yourself regarding this goal. After you write them repeat them to yourself several times.

Where can you put the affirmation where you will see it regularly while working on your goal?

Improving Self-Talk

Defining Self-Talk

We often joke that talking to ourselves is weird or a sign of being “crazy”. But in reality, most of us have an ongoing monologue with ourselves all the time. This is something called self-talk.

Self-talk can be out loud or simply the monologue of thoughts within our mind. I am an external processor, so I often speak things I am thinking out loud to myself just to make sense of it, while others have an internal processing as they think through life.

I have heard people say this in a variety of ways, but I find it to be so true that our relationship with ourselves is the longest and most vital relationship we will have in our lives. Many people come in and out of our life, but we always belong to ourselves. Though this is true, we often treat and speak to ourselves with such disrespect and disregard. Many of us battle with negative and critical self-talk and it becomes simply a part of our everyday life. This is something I personally struggle with all the time.

The trouble with self-talk, which we can also think of as our thought life, is that it informs our actions. All of our actions and decisions begin with a thought or belief within ourselves. If our thoughts are mean, disrespectful, and demeaning towards ourselves, how is that informing our actions and our way of living? How is that impacting how we let other people treat us? As someone who has struggled with negative self-talk for most of my life, I have realized that it impacts my decisions, the treatment I accept from others, accomplishing my goals, and trusting my own judgment.

How Self-Talk Impacts Us

I want to break down some of the impacts of having positive and negative self-talk.

Impact Negative Self-Talk Can Have:

  • Lowers our self-esteem and our ability to see our worth
  • May become a barrier to accomplishing our goals
  • May keep us from taking risks or putting ourselves in positions of growth
  • Effects our mental health and can increase anxiety or depression (Psychology Today)
  • Can cause complications in our relationships
  • May cause use to need increased affirmation and validation from others

Impact Positive Self-Talk Can Have:

  • Allow us to see our strength and resilience
  • Calms the mind and allows us to build resilience
  • Allows us to have increased confidence in ourselves and our abilities
  • Encourages us to pursue our goals
  • Equips is to take chances and to bloom during seasons of growth
  • Promotes positive mental health
  • Equips us to be a healthy partner or friend in relationships
  • Helps us to self-soothe and increases our ability to self-assure and believe in ourselves
  • May allow us to love ourselves and others better

How to Improve our Self-Talk

There are a lot of strategies to improve our self-talk. No matter what strategy you use, it requires practice! Our brain adapts as we repeat the habit we are attempting to build and implement. The problem I often face is that I try to change four or more habits at once, then get overwhelmed and quit practicing all of them. I have found it to be better to choose one or two habits and really focus in on those for a period of time. Then once your brain and body have adapted to those, then adding in one or two more. No matter what be patient and kind with yourself! Here are some strategies you could try to help build positive self-talk:

  • Write out something kind about yourself and hang it up. Reread all the kind statements every day.
  • Journal about things you have done well or about stories that reflect your strength.
  • When noticing something negative you are thinking, correct yourself and think something strength-based and kind. For example, if thinking you are ugly, then correct yourself and think you are beautiful instead.
  • Tell yourself positive affirmations, such as, “you are strong and capable and will accomplish your goals today.”
  • When thinking of something negative about yourself or your story, think of an exception. For example, if I am thinking I am a failure, then challenge that thought and think of an exception of when that has not been true. When have you succeeded, accomplished a goal, or done something well?

Coping with Anxiety

My Story

I think we all struggle with varying levels of anxiety. Life has so many trials and uncertainties that can cause us to worry or have anxious thoughts. I have struggled with anxiety and overwhelming fears for most of my life. Part of this is from the dynamics of my childhood, the patterns of mental health in my family, and my own internalizing of events throughout my life. There has been various things I have tried to help with my anxiety including therapy and medications. But I still was not coping well with day to day life.

Thankfully I have had relationships and circumstances that pushed me to confront this anxiety and try to cope better. During the beginning of the pandemic, while at home, I began to be more intentional about searching for tools and strategies that would help me live better from day to day. I came up with the acronym GRASI and practiced tools of it intentionally everyday. It made such a difference for me! We don’t have to stay stuck in the same anxious thoughts. We can break cycles and thrive!!


I made up this acronym for myself after I chose these five tools to focus on to help with my anxiety.

G: grounding, which is the process of focusing in on one of our five senses. Sometimes I would go outside and close my eyes and put all my attention on the sounds around me, or putting all your attention on any of the senses to ground yourself back to your current moment in time. Anxiety often involves being stuck in the past or the future, therefore to combat that it can be helpful to focus your attention back on the present moment.

R: relaxation, is something I incorporated because I typically was not being intentional to do something relaxing everyday. So when I started practicing this I planned at least one relaxing activity everyday. Sometimes if was taking a hot bath, resting on the couch and watching TV, doing yoga outside, or taking time to be creative.

A: acceptance, was huge for me!! In my planner or journal if there were thoughts that were nagging at me or anxieties that were weighing me down I would practice acceptance and the worry about those issues no longer had control over me. For example I accept that all I can control is my thoughts, words, and actions and I cannot control the words, actions or intentions of others.

S: spirituality, is vital. Though this is the fourth letter in the acronym for me it was foundational for the whole process of healing. This involved me being in prayer, reading scripture, and reminding myself of truths. Truths such as God created me, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I was created with purpose, I am loved, I am chosen, I am cared for, and there is a plan for my life.

I: improve self-esteem, this was important for me as well because a lot of my anxiety was also tied to habits and thought patterns of self-loathing. This would often keep me from accomplishing my goals, seeking healthy relationships, and living well. To work on this I first started by writing positive affirmations and repeating them to myself everyday. I tried various other strategies too, including writing letters to my past self, choosing to focus on strength based narratives of my life, and paying attention to my self-talk and correcting myself when I spoke cruelly to myself.

I would incorporate these five areas in my daily life. It would look different for each day, but the goal was simply to be aware and start changing my thinking and actions to combat my anxiety.

Thank you for reading my story! I would love to know what helps you with anxious thoughts or if you give any of these strategies a try!

How to Improve Thought Patterns

Importance of Capturing Your Thoughts

I have found that paying attention to my thoughts is very important to my wellbeing! When I let my thoughts go unchecked I start to be in negative thought patterns, vicious cycles of disappointment thinking of all the things that I “should” do and assuming what others are thinking. None of these patterns are helpful and it takes being intentional to notice these thoughts in yourself to create change. Paying attention to our thoughts is essential to our mental and emotional health.

Change Your Thoughts and You’ll Change The World – quote by Norman Vincent Peale written on vintage wooden board. Motivational concept image

Common Thought Distortions

One of the books about resilience that I have enjoyed is by Dr. Glenn R. Schiraldi, called The Resilience Workbook. This book has a lot of helpful information and exercises for building resilience and overcoming past stress and trauma. Below is a list from Dr. Schiraldi of common thought distortions:

  1. Flaw Fixation: getting stuck on all the things that we consider to be wrong, undesirable, or negative.
  2. Dismissing the Positive: choosing to not notice, accept, or believe the positive in a situation or about yourself.
  3. Assuming: this could look like thinking that you know what someone else is thinking without them expressing themselves or predicting what you think will happen as fact.
  4. Labeling: when we reduce ourselves, others, or a situation down to one characteristic.
  5. Overgeneralizing: thinking that a certain type of situation always or never happens.
  6. All-or-None Thinking: I find when I am engaging in this kind of thinking I am wanting to either have everything exactly as I want it and am all in or I totally walk away and don’t invest any of myself. In this thought process solutions in the middle are not considered.
  7. Comparison: Comparing someone’s situation to your own, but often it is comparing someone else’s best to your worst.
  8. Catastrophizing: thinking the worst is going to happen.
  9. Emotional Logic: making decisions based solely on emotion and not considering the facts of the situation.
  10. Should Statements: when you have rules or beliefs of what life has to be like.
  11. Personalizing: believing something is about you personally, without considering other possibilities or circumstances.
  12. Blaming: not taking responsibility for our own thoughts, words, and actions.

Looking at a list like this can be overwhelming because chances are we might be struggling with several of these thought processes. Next, we will look how to focus in on one of these thought processes and start the process of making change!

Changing Thought Cycles

Sometimes it can feel very difficult to change our thought processes especially when we have been thinking a certain way for a long time. When I was first trying to change my thought processes I first reflected on which one caused the most difficulties in my life. Or consider which one is holding you back the most from goals you are working on. Making changes is not only about what we won’t do, but figuring out what we will do instead. For example one of my struggles is assuming what other people are thinking. So when I catch myself doing this I remind myself that I am not a mind reader or that I can only control my thoughts, words and actions. Once I’ve reminded myself of this I take a step back and look at the facts. What did the person actually say? What circumstances were happening that led me to assume their thoughts? And what do I actually know about the situation based on these things? Here are these steps laid out below:

  1. What thought distortion do you want to work on?
  2. How can you replace this thought process with a new health thought process?
  3. Are there circumstances that trigger this thought distortion?

The awesome thing about our brain is that the more we practice a skill and put our attention to it, the more our brain adapts to support the new thought process or habit. It might take time, but you have the power to change your brain and to change your thoughts! Take time to reflect on this! Leave a comment below of what action step you are going to take!


Schiraldi, G. (2017). The Resilience Workbook. New Harbinger Publications, Inc.