I hope you are having a peaceful day of rest today. Every Sunday I am going to be talking about Soul Food. This type of nourishment is often overlooked, especially in the health food world, however it is incredibly important to nourish the soul to achieve optimal mind-body-soul health!
Today, I want to talk about choosing to focus on being thankful.
Notice, I said CHOOSING. This is 100% a choice. Every single person alive on this planet has something to be thankful for. I know that is a bold statement, but it is true. Everyone who is alive has at least 1 thing in their life to be thankful for. If you’re reading this, chances are you have MANY things to be thankful for! All too often, we get stuck focusing on what we wish we had, what we we wish never happened, what we wish would happen, our hurts, our pains, what someone did or said to us, and all our problems. While these factors in your life may be very real, you still have a choice as to how you view them and whether you focus on the negative or the positive and the things you are thankful for in your life.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Make a list of the TOP 10 things you are thankful for that make you happy and feel good when you think about them. Tape that list up somewhere where you will see it every day throughout the week.
Now, pay attention to your thoughts. Whenever your mind slips into a negative thought pattern, read your list and really think about those things or people you’re thankful for and how happy they make you. Make the conscious EFFORT to switch your thinking process today. At first it may take extra effort, but eventually it will become a habit. And this is a habit that could truly change your life. When you focus on positive things in your life you start attracting positive things and people into your life.
Gratitude doesn’t just help you feel better, there have actually been studies on this emotion and it has been proven to improve your health!
For instance, in 2007 Robert Emmons, UC Davis psychology professor and author of the book, Thanks! How the Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, conducted research that asked a group of organ transplant patients to keep what he calls “gratitude journals” while another group simply wrote about the basic details of their day. The group that regularly listed what they were thankful for scored significantly higher on measures of both physical and mental health.
Emmons says similar studies were consistent with these findings. People who focused on what they were thankful for reduced stress and depression, and improved in sleep and exercise. That’s right! People who show gratitude actually spend more time working out. (source)
Being thankful and appreciative for other people also creates stronger and deeper connections with others. When someone feels genuinely appreciated, they tend to want to help you more and support you in anything and everything you are doing in life. That is created just by you being thankful!
Research from 2010 found that gratitude is also important in committed relationships like marriage. 65 couples were studied and researchers discovered that those who were most committed and satisfied corresponded with couples who expressed gratitude towards each other.
When you’re spending all your brain power thinking about how thankful you are and looking at the blessings in your life, you don’t have the time, energy, and brain power to constantly be thinking about the overwhelming negative, even if it’s still there. Imagine that your world was crashing down, and although a part of you was hurting, you didn’t react like the world expects you to…you are actually still thankful and a part of you is still able to be happy because you know you are a part of a bigger plan and you are CHOOSING to be thankful today. That is powerful!
I am thankful for each and every one of you! I am thankful for your desire to learn more about how to live a life free of disease & illness. I am thankful for your passion to help others. I am thankful for your support! Have a wonderful day today! I pray that your eyes may be opened to the blessings and love letters to you from our Creator that are all around today! Take a deep breath, smile, and be thankful :).
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”- Philippians 1:3
Here is one of my favorite worship songs about being thankful. Thought some of you might enjoy it too!