Four Amazing Benefits of Being Grateful
Over a hundred Bible verses tell us to be thankful. To find gratitude in all situations.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. ~ Psalms 136:1
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile
in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ~ Romans 1:21
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will
for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God askes us to be thankful for Him and in all circumstances. Whether they are good or bad. So I wanted to know what scientific research has been done on the benefits of being thankful everyday. The results will shock you.
How easy is it, to look at the negative side of people that you are close to? Especially those in your own household. Constantly reminding yourself how much they annoy you, does not help you to maintain a good relationship.
When we make a list of the things that we are grateful for in our spouse, and read it to ourselves daily, our brain starts to shift towards altruistic tendencies. The tendency to be unselfish.
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex helps us to process risk and reward. This area helps us to control the amygdala (fear, anxiety, and agression) part of our brain. It also manages your ability to make decisions and inhibit (hold in) your emotional control responses.
When we take the time to be grateful for those that we love, our reward bank, in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, fills up. We start to see the world through the rose colored glasses of love. The way that God intended for us to live.
Being grateful leads to being more satisfied within the relationship, while also creating an atmosphere of selflessness. Adversly leading you to being more generous towards the other person. This leads to your spouse, children, parents, whomever, feeling more valued and cherished. Thus, creating a stronger relationship to grow on.
When I feel depressed, the last thing that I want to do is exercise or eat healthy. Usually, I want to sleep or eat junk food. Creating a vicious cycle that keeps me in my zone of depression.
When we take the time each day to be grateful for something, anything, our attitude towards the world starts to change. We are more likely to exercise, and take care of ourselves, and eat better.
Being grateful can lead to less headaches, fewer stomach issues, less respiratory problems, and fewer sleep disturbances.
One recent study from the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine found that people who were more grateful actually had better heart health, specifically less inflammation and healthier heart rhythms.
People who keep a daily journal about what they are grateful for, usually sleep better, eat less junk food, have less stress, and their brains age slower.
The health benefits from being grateful each day are tremendous.
Most people would love to be able to sleep better each night. They have tried medicine, melatonin, drugs, alcohol and so much more to get a better night’s sleep. What if just being grateful each day, allotted you a better night’s sleep?
When you release more positive thoughts than negative thoughts throughout the day, you tend to worry about things less. Allowing you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep much longer. Most people who keep a gratitude journal sleep 30 minutes longer each night.
Having a good night sleep, will help you to feel more rested and ready for the day. Which is a wonderful feeling for a stay-at-home mom. When you are tired and grumpy, dealing with your kids in a patient and loving way is almost impossible. But, if I am well rested, then I usually am up for anything that the kids throw my way.
We could all do with having a little less stress in our lives. Being thankful is one of the fastest ways to retrain your brain to not see stress as overwhelming, or even to not see stress as such a damaging commodity. Your brain is a muscle that needs to be trained. If you worry all the time, then your brain will tend to worry when it shouldn’t be or worry more than others. But, the best part is that you can retrain your brain to find more happiness and less stress by being grateful each day.
Research has shown that if someone writes in a journal daily for 10 weeks about what they are grateful for, that they will become more optimistic. Their happiness levels will go up. Stress levels will go down. They became more determined and have more energy. They sleep better and their anxiety levels diminish. They will start to exercise and eat healthy, because their attitudes have changed.
Seems like, our God knows more about our well-being than scientists do. Of course the creator of the universe would point us to the knowledge that produces more happiness, less stress, better eating habits, the willingness to workout, and a better night’s sleep. Now, if only we would listen to Him and obey what He tells us to do in the Bible.
I know that it is that time of year when we should be “thankful.” Why, are we only thankful around the holidays? Why not be thankful all year round? My pastor today challenged us to be thankful everyday of the year. For 365 days. And this is now my challenge to you. Join me on the Homeschooling Women of God Facebook page or Twitter feed as I publish daily what I am grateful for.
Let’s make this upcoming year a life changing one, by changing our attitudes first. Don’t forget to get yourself a cool new journal to write in as you start to change your attitude and your life, all with just the stroke of a pen.
May God bless you and keep you,