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Feelings of gratitude release positive endorphins throughout the body, creating health.   ~Sharon Huffman

Consider This:

Barbara Fredrickson, social psychologist and positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, published a paper on the power of positive thinking and its impact on your skills. Indeed, having a positive attitude and one of gratitude does wonders for your health and overall well being.  Fredrickson's research showed that when people experience positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, we see the positive and possibilities around us.

It's true. Just feeling thankful has the power to make us continue to feel positive and perhaps even younger.  Don't you feel younger when you are smiling and enjoying life? Being grateful creates  inner happiness that transfers itself throughout your  body. Therefor, gratitude improves our moods because it helps us focus on the good things around us and equips us with a better ability to see the blessings and positive things rather than dwell on negative circumstances; thus we stay positive.

Gratitude truly optimizes our health. Positive emotions strengthen and enhance the immune system through the release of endorphins into the blood stream! Endorphins are sort of like our bodies natural painkillers. Conversely, negative emotions reduce the number of endorphins  and slow down the white blood cells  in our bloodstreams and may contribute to heart disease and stroke due to the high levels of adrenaline. Fredrickson  hypothesizes that our positive emotions can actually undo the cardiovascular effects of these negative emotions.

In short, the more we feel a sense of gratitude, the more endorphins we have and less adrenaline; thus, healthier lives!

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Occasionally, I’ll share a few tips with you to help you keep motivated in keeping your journal and making sure it stays a positive experience for you to help focus on thanksgiving rather than the complaining so many of us in today’s society takes part in.

Today’s Gratitude Journal Tip:  Turn Negatives into positives! If you are having a bad day, it will be harder to write your 3-5 positive things in your gratitude journal but you can do it!  It may seem difficult at first, but the more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.

    Examples:

Instead of seeing and writing "I'm still unemployed," you might write, "I was able to pay the rent this month."

Instead of  "The living room is trashed because there were 3 neighbor kids over and no one put anything away," you could think and write "Joy was had here."

Instead of  "The milk spilled all over," you could focus on "The floor is now clean and shiny."

 

Sharing Gratitude:

  1.  Lively discussion with over 100 members of my book study!!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1112029392194451/
  2. Bubble baths
  3. Oolong tea
  4. A child recognizing his mother's frustration and offering comfort.
  5. Being told by someone that he understands how I feel.

Every little thing we turn around could make a huge impact on our road to becoming a person of gratitude.  What negative aspect of your day today can you turn around for your gratitude journal?

 

 

Have you started your gratitude journal? If you have missed previous posts about the challenge, start here!
Have you started your gratitude journal? If you have missed previous posts about the challenge, start here!

 

 

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Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ~Author Unknown

Consider This:

"I tend to get lost in the details of a large-family life when I'm right in the midst of it.  It takes a certain fortitude, after all, to look at a pile of dishes and see it as the makings of a cathedral. The daily mundane is holy ground because the ordinary tasks of a monotonous Monday are where we meet our Maker," says Sarah Mackenzie, author of Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakeable Peace.  Isn't this true of us all?

2016-05-14 18.05.52Homeschoolers or not, don't we all get lost in the daily mundane and forget that this is truly where we meet our Maker?  We get lost in the daily tasks that we'd just as soon forget (dishes, laundry, cleaning up messes, handling sibling arguments, etc.) and we forget that even in those tasks we are doing something bigger.  Sarah tells us in her book that many of the medieval cathedral builders never saw their work completed as the cathedrals would take over a hundred years (more than a lifetime) to complete.  Yet, the builders devoted their lives to this work- giving glory to God.

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We look at the cathedral today and it is not at all mundane.  But think of that builder who lugged stone after stone after stone, never seeing the beautiful work that we see in front of us today.  They gave it their all.  Mundane stone after stone. Mundane day after mundane day.

We too are giving our work to God.  Everything we do is work that God sees - even if it's not a medieval cathedral to worship Him in.  Isn't our home a mini-cathedral? Isn't that where we encounter Him each and every day?  Should we not be grateful for each and every encounter, even in the mundane?  For even in washing those dishes, we are serving Him.  Even in making that bed, we are serving Him.  Even in picking up those dirty socks, we are serving Him.

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.   ~ Matthew 25:40

For even in the mundane tasks we do that serve our family members, we serve Him. Shouldn't then, we be giving it our all?  Doing our best?  And giving thanks at the same time?  Thanks for the ability to do the work. Thanks for God allowing us this time on earth to do it?  Thanks for giving us others to serve so that in doing so, we are able to serve Him? Thanks for knowing that it really does make a difference, no matter how menial or small it seems to us at the time.

What are some tasks you find to be mundane, but upon further reflection, can find some reason to give thanks?  Reason for gratitude?

Consider also: 

" For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."  G. K Chesteron (Orthodoxy)

Gratitude Sharing:

  1. My 3 living children - lovely gifts of God.

  2. Mashed potatoes - comfort food.

  3. A child observing, "It's a lovely day!", despite the grey clouds overhead.  Children see beauty when some of us can not.

  4. Four white tails leaping away through the yard and into the woods - thankful to the brief glimpse of their presence and reminder of the creatures surrounding our home.

  5. THIS.....

    Wow. Just Wow. Oh, and yumminess!
    Wow. Just Wow. Oh, and yumminess!

 

What is on Your Gratitude List This Week?

Have you started your gratitude journal? If you have missed previous posts about the challenge, start here!
Have you started your gratitude journal? If you have missed previous posts about the challenge, start here!