Health Tips, Thoughts and Inspirations
The content of this blog will vary, dependent on the topic I feel led to share with you. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to those who choose to read it.
A Spirit of Thankfulness
My favorite holiday is upon us - Thanksgiving. As of yet, it isn't as commercialized as some are. In fact, it's often overlooked, especially now when stores are no longer waiting for Black Friday, but opening on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas decorations are everywhere by November 1. My daughter-in-law, who is from the Philippines, asked what we do on this day. "Eat" was the response she got. No, that's not what it's about. At least, not for me.
It's easy to be thankful when things in life are going well, but what about when it seems that everything is falling apart? I look back, not only on the past year, but the years before. Like many of you, our family has been through many difficult times. I admit that in the midst of all these, being thankful wasn't always the easiest thing to think about. In some of them, I was angry, distraught, and to the complete end of myself. And yet, God brought people into my life, some known and some complete strangers, who spoke to me, lifted me up, prayed for me and my family, and showed us the love of Christ. Suddenly, I still had something to be thankful for in the midst of heartache because of these precious people.
Should we take account of our lives and practice thankfulness only once a year? Or is there more to this than a one day holiday? Studies show that having a spirit/heart of thankfulness has a positive effect on our physical, emotional, and mental health. It can be considered a part of our mental health AND our spiritual health. Remember that all these aspects of our lives are intertwined. One is not separate from another.
How does this effect your health? "Happy people live up to 10 years longer than unhappy people, and optimists have a 77% lower risk of heart disease than pessimists." Does this attitude happen without any effort? Some people are definitely more joyful than others. If you think of those around you, I'm sure you can think of those who are on both ends of the spectrum. Which type are you more likely to want to be around? That may seem like an obvious question, but we have often heard the old saying "misery loves company." Either way, one feeds off the other. If we surround ourselves with positive people, it will impact how we look at life. The opposite is also true. "But I am surrounded with crabby, negative people that I can't escape from! They're always complaining about life, work, their spouse, their kids, the in-laws....the list goes on and on. I don't have the option of being around someone with a thankful heart!" There is a couple of answers to that dilemma. When you can, make time for some space away from it. And other....Be one! Be the thankful person! How do we get there? First take a long, hard look at yourself. What are your thoughts like? What do your words reflect?
Begin with the symptoms of an unthankful heart:
In Romans 12:2, the Scripture talks about renewing our mind. What we put into our minds, through what we read, watch on TV, the music we listen to, what we look at on the internet and social media - each one of these makes a difference. We need to "think about what we are thinking about." If we are dwelling on negative thoughts, our problems, people that we are upset with, the list goes on and on - we will not have a thankful heart. It will be a clouded, down-trodden, "woe is me" darkness that weighs us down. I, for one, don't want to live there. We will miss out on the joy of life. Ask yourself, "What have I been thinking about this past week/day/hour?" If we want to see a change, we have to change the way we think. What are the blessings in your life? Do you have a roof over your head? A safe and warm place to sleep? Clothes to wear? Food to eat? People you love and who love you? Even if you can answer "yes" to only one of these questions, you have more than a large percentage of the people in this world! There are many who would gladly exchange places with you!
To start out on the right track, begin and end each day reminding yourself of at least one thing you can be thankful for. Write it down and look back at your list after a week of doing this. Post them where you can see them. You will be surprised at how blessed you really are!
May your Thanksgiving and all the days thereafter be filled with love, joy, peace and a grateful heart! From our most precious blessings....to yours.