I finally pulled myself away from my desk piled high with books and papers, and retreated to a nearby window for a break. As I raised my eyes to a beautiful blue, sunny sky above neighboring apartment buildings, I caught sight of a bird in graceful flight. My spirit soared with it.
I forgot my work for a moment and enjoyed this glimpse of God’s beautiful creation. My tired mind was renewed as I marveled at the shapes and shades of the clouds—thousands of tons of water floating effortlessly high overhead. Breathing deeply of the breeze that blew through the open window, I thanked and praised God for His goodness and care. I began with the scene before me, and ended with a few of the many wonderful things He has done for me personally over the years. With each breath and thought, my mind and body relaxed a little more, and my aching shoulders became a little less tense.
When I returned to my desk, I felt completely refreshed. The three-minute break had worked wonders. I tackled my assignment with renewed energy and focus. To my amazement, I made more headway during the next hour than I had in the previous two. Not only that, but when I reread my work later, I found fewer mistakes than I expected. I met my deadline with time to spare.
I was so excited by my discovery that I decided to apply this “praise break” principle to other areas of my life, and I’ve found its effects to be amazing. In addition to relieving stress, it has helped improve my moods, my relations with others, my problem-solving ability, my organizational skills, and more.
My life hasn’t become problem free since I started practicing praise, but stopping to thank God for His goodness and refocus on my blessings gives me strength to face whatever comes my way. It’s made the joys more enjoyable and the trials less trying. It doesn’t take long—sometimes less than a minute—but I’ve found that it makes all the difference in the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 136:26 ESV - Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 100:4 ESV - Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!