"Be thankful in all circumstances" I Thessalonians 5:18
Frankly, I spent the majority of my life seeing things like thanksgiving, gratitude and all as quaint or nice thing to do.. but a "game-changer?"
Not even close!
That's all changed for me. Maybe this Thanksgiving you'll see why.
There are few things more life-changing than the habit of appreciating all that is good, positive and life-giving.
In that way, giving thanks is not a quaint moment in the year when you tolerate extended family, eat too much and watch the Cowboys play football.
Gratitude’s a game changer to our lives emotionally, relationally, physically and of course spiritually.
Taking time to be grateful for specific things in your life can erase moodswings, migraines and mindsets of defeat.
And if you've ever experienced anything close to discouragement, depression and anxiety, thanksgiving and gratitude can no longer be optional. It’s a life-saver! Like I said, "game-changer!"
Willie Nelson nailed it when he said,
"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
Why would that be? Why is gratitude so vital? A game-changer?
Not only does the Bible basically call us to it quite directly. (Even says it's "God's will for us!") Studies have also shown 5 clear benefits of Thanksgiving as a way of life:
1. Gratitude improves physical health.
Neuroscience recognizes that the practice of gratitude increases serotonin and dopamine in the brain…. It turns on areas of our brain that may have shut down. It actually makes us feel better. And when we feel better, we eat better. We exercise more. We complain less.
Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
2. Gratitude improves sleep.
Come up with a few ways your day was great before you go to bed and you’ll sleep like a baby!
3. Gratitude improves relationships.
When you’re grateful, your aggression and irritation-factor with others goes way down! You argue less. You don’t let pet-peeves go wild.
Not to mention: We all appreciate those who take time to say “thank you!” or see the good in things. And of course, we're drawn to others who tell us what they appreciate about us!
Let’s face it, gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, and more able to reach outside ourselves. As a result, we gain more new friends, deepen our existing relationships, and even improve our marriage.
4. Gratitude improves how we see ourselves and the world around us.
We like ourselves when we appreciate the good. No, that doesn’t mean you don’t have room to grow or things can’t improve, but when you love yourself and and your life, you get more love and more life!
5. Gratitude improves happiness
According to 40 research studies on gratitude reported in The Happy Human,
"A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!"
Wow! 5 minutes the same as doubling your income! Gratitude's a game-changer!
May your Thanksgiving be the kick off of more than a double-header football game. Maybe even your own continual habit of practicing gratitude!
Have a fully grateful Thanksgiving!
Grateful. SO, SO GRATEFUL! Jeff