A Life of Gratitude
A blog about gratitude the week of Thanksgiving? What a novel concept!
But seriously, there are so many great reasons to actively practice gratitude that I think we should make it an integral part of our lives throughout the year.
Gratitude is Good for Our Health
Did you know that scientists have done brain imaging of people thinking of things they are grateful for? The results were impressive – happy thoughts release serotonin and dopamine into our bloodstreams. We can refer to these as “feel good” chemicals. While gratitude doesn’t release a higher quantity of these into our systems, creating a habit of gratitude releases them into our systems more often.
Not only that, focusing on the things that you’re thankful for can help combat hopelessness and depression because gratitude gives us perspective. When we deliberately shift our focus to appreciating the things we have vs. lamenting the things we don’t, we realize how blessed we are. Gratitude balances the negative thoughts that bombard each of us. Sincere gratitude creates contentment.
The Bible Promotes Gratitude
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” In every situation. Not only when things are going your way. Not only when you get what you want. But in every situation.
Why are we instructed to give thanks in every situation? Because it’s in the valleys that we need to remember what we do have going for us. It is then when we need perspective so that the disappointment of our situation doesn’t swallow us whole.
Shift your Focus to Gratitude
Let’s do a fun exercise. I want you to think of a few things that you want to complain about at this very moment. I’ll go first. Ready? I hate my stretch marks. I have a mountain of laundry to do at home. I hate that my husband must commute 30 minutes to work. I would have been done with this article 30 minutes ago if this woman at the car detailing place I’m sitting at hadn’t unloaded her life story on me.
Now, let’s flip the script. First, I’m thankful for my stretch marks because they serve as a reminder of my beautiful daughter and what an incredible feat my body accomplished. Second, my mountains of laundry mean that my husband isn’t deployed, and my daughter is still living at home. Third, I’m so thankful that my husband has a good job. Finally, I’m happy that people see a welcoming face and feel my genuine care enough to bare their souls to me upon first meeting.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Let me know in the comments how you’ve flipped the script to turn your complaints into gratitude!
About the Author
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics. She lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and witty daughter. Melanie loves her freedom – in Christ and America. She’s passionate about natural health and homeopathy, and she’s always down to take a hike through the mountains.
About Vision to Purpose
Vision to Purpose is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed by offering tailored career, life, and business solutions, specializing in military transitions. We also help writers become published authors!
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