1 Chronicles 16:34
Did you know there is great power found in a grateful heart? It’s true, and they have research to prove it! “Scientific studies have proven gratitude increases neural modulation in the brain, in the prefrontal cortex, which regulates negative emotions. It also activates dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel good.” That’s scientific talk that basically states that the results of maintaining an attitude of gratitude is instant happiness that will prompt you to continue to giving thanks.
A good friend of mine once confessed that she had been hospitalized due to a nervous breakdown and what helped her most to recover was reading her Bible and writing down 12 things she was thankful for in a journal each day- a practice she still swears by and practices today!
Gratitude also curbs other symptoms of anxiety, helping us to deal with the disorder more effectively according to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the United States.
- It can reduce Insomnia
- Reduces stress hormones in the body
- And can positively impact bodily functions, memory, and emotions.
So, How Can We Best Practice Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude?
(These are just a few suggestions and if you have any other proven habits, I hope you’ll share them with us as well)
1.) Keep a Journal
Write down all that is causing any anxiety, sadness, fear, etc. And then find at least 3 things to be thankful for right now. Even if it’s, ‘I’m thankful I woke up and I’m still breathing!’
2.) Stop to Meditate
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Phil. 4:8
Focus on all the good things in your life and start thanking God for each. You’ll eventually become a thankful person by nature.
3.) Share Your Gratitude with Others
This may seem silly, but it goes a long way towards practicing gratitude.
Writing down your thoughts, dwelling on the positives and then sharing your positive thoughts with God and others will go along way to develop an attitude of gratitude and squelch all those anxious thoughts that try to take over.