*Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of the division of biologic psychology at Duke University said that “If thankfulness were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
Studies show that the act of being grateful helps to lower blood pressure and to stabilize blood sugar. It decreases depression and anxiety, releases positive chemicals into your body, lowers stress, and also increases immunity. If gratefulness were a pill, it would be considered a super drug.
Gratitude helps you mentally and physically. Studies have shown that people who express gratitude (instead of focusing on the negative aspects of things) feel better about their lives and report fewer health complaints. Gratitude and a positive attitude have even been shown to increase longevity.
There are many verses in the Bible that instruct us to be grateful and thankful. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:6, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This verse tells us how to combat anxiety; it instructs us to ask God for what we need, and then be thankful for what he has done.
As with all counseling techniques, gratitude is an act that must become a practice in your life for it to be helpful. Below are some ideas as you begin the practice of gratefulness.
- Make a list each day of at least five things for which you are grateful. You might set aside time either in the morning or before you go to bed to write down each item.
- Look for things to be grateful. For example, say a blessing over the food God has provided or notice the beauty of a bird or flower and express gratitude for it.
- Make a habit of thanking people for the small things they do. Drop a card, send an email or text, or call people when they do something special for you.
- Meditate on the things for which you are grateful.
- Pray, thanking God for the gifts He has provided.
- Set gratitude reminders in your calendar.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
These are just a few of the many things that you could add to your gratitude practice. Come up with more gratitude ideas and make them habits in your life.
Science is now coming to the same conclusion that the Bible has been teaching for thousands of years… being thankful and grateful is great medicine for the soul.
Good luck in your practice of gratitude!
*cited from mindfullivingnetwork.com
Robin is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She works from a Cognitive Behavioral orientation and is certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, CBT- Insomnia, Anger Management, and as a Life Coach. She is also trained in EMDR and EFT and TFT tapping and holds a master’s degree in Counseling and a Doctorate Degree in Biblical Studies. Follow her on Facebook at Living Imperfectly Perfect or on Instagram at living.imperfectly.perfect.