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  • Writer's picturekitarae

The Power of Giving Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Psa 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His steadfast love endures forever. Psa 136

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. 1 Chron 16:34

Three of the dozens of passages I found reminding us to give thanks to the Lord. But in typical God fashion, He simply cannot be out given. When we give thanks, it blesses us. We actually change physically, emotionally, spiritually, energetically and psychologically in response to gratitude.

Below are two quotes from two different articles on the power of gratitude. One is from Abbott - a health focused website. The other is from Forbes - a business focused magazine. I hope they encourage you not only to be grateful, but to read the entire articles.

The Power Of Giving Thanks: Why Gratitude Is Not Just For Good Times, But For All Times

Yes, there are forces in our political arena that seek to divide, stoke fear and propagate prejudice. Yes, there are entrenched systems that fuel inequity and cause suffering. Yes there are people who behave in ways that must be challenged and held to account.

This is all true.

But it is not the whole truth.

What is also true is that there are many good people in the world who are brave and compassionate and committed to making the world a better one.

What is also true is that each of us has the power to be one of them. Yet we cannot harness this power when we expend our energy focusing on what is wrong, laying blame and perpetuating the same lower order thought patterns that have created the problems to begin with.

Which brings me back to the importance of gratitude, the emotion that magnifies our experience of what is good, deepens our connections, steels our resolve, and buoys us to rise above the storm waves of life.

5 Reasons Why Giving Thanks is Good (Abbott)

Here, five reasons why giving thanks is actually good for you.

  • Counting blessings boosts your health. Emmons’ and McCullough’s research showed that grateful people had less depression and stress, lower blood pressure, more energy, and greater optimism.

  • Slow down the aging clock. In older adults, Emmons and McCullough found, a daily practice of gratitude even slowed down some of the effects of neurodegeneration that often occurs as we age.

  • Put the brakes on stress. Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone,” and when our bodies produce too much, it can deplete the immune system and raise blood sugar levels. A study conducted at the Institute of HeartMath Research Center in California found that positive emotions like appreciation significantly lowered levels of cortisol.

  • Being thankful helps you bond. Research by U.S. psychologists Sara Algoe and Baldwin Way indicates that gratitude also can lead to better relationships. The explanation may be connected to increased production of oxytocin, sometimes called the “bonding hormone” because it fosters calm and security in relationships.

  • Gratefulness = good for the heart and waistline? According to research Emmons cites in his book Gratitude Works!, people with high blood pressure who actively express thankfulness “can achieve up to a 10 percent reduction in systolic blood pressure and decrease their dietary fat intake by up to 20 percent.” With Thanksgiving and other food-centered holidays coming up next month, that’s a potential benefit to be grateful for all year long.

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