Nearly every self-help or health book I read mentions the importance of gratitude and a thankful heart, and nearly every day my Christian devotional focuses on giving thanks to God. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share some facts about the power of gratitude.
Gratitude has been empirically connected to happiness. Often it is the starting place to forming a healthy and happy life. You cannot be angry, ashamed, or sad at the same time as you are grateful. It is amazing how you can transform your feelings from one to another with a simple sunset or the smile of a child.
Additionally, a state of gratitude has been linked to better health, in that grateful people have better functioning immune systems, are more able to manage stress, have a higher number of blood cells, and more successful rates of recovery in cases of chronic illness. Traditional Chinese medicine stresses that emotions like anger, sadness, and worry can harm your organs, especially your liver and spleen channels. It also promotes Fall as the ideal season to release old patterns, emotions and issues, and to focus on healthier habits. So right now is your chance!
Last year, I was able to release a toxic pattern that had a hold on me for 16 years! Some of you may remember this story. God gave me the courage, wisdom and strength to confront someone who had hurt me badly many years ago. We were able to forgive each other, and I am very grateful for that opportunity. As a result, I was able to fully release all anger, fear and pain associated with this person. I was liberated from a stronghold and I am forever grateful for that.
With all this evidence to show that gratitude is a known ticket to better health, perhaps we should focus on carrying a heart of gratitude beyond Thanksgiving and the Holiday season, and into our lives daily. Remember that disease is a state of dis-ease. You have the power to put your body back into “ease.” Gratitude creates a feeling of calm and health.
What are you thankful for today? Ask yourself daily, hourly, and especially in times of stress. By working to reframe your mind and focus on positive things, you will create a sense of well-being in your body. It is my hope for myself and for you.