7 Ways to Show Gratitude by Dr. TG Day, MD

 

Thanksgiving is a great time to remember the importance of gratitude and practice it.  I shared earlier this week the health benefits of having an attitude of gratitude in a blog post, “Does gratitude improve health?”

So now that we know some of the health benefits of gratitude, how can we perform this daily? Here are 7 tips to get you started on having an attitude of gratitude.

  1. Begin your day with thanksgiving.  As soon as you arise, Say “Thank you God for blessing me to see another day”.  This will help you receive this day as a special gift, specifically for you!
  2. Smile! Smiling actually causes chemicals in the brain, endorphins, to be released.  These chemicals help to make us feel good. So by smiling you feel better, and others around you will likely smile in response, and feel better too.
  3. Make a list of at least 3 things you are grateful for.  Say aloud, “thank you” for these things at least 3 times during the day. This will remind you that you have things to be grateful for.
  4. Greet people who are serving you. Say “Hello” to the cashier at the store, or custodian worker at your job.  Thank them for the service they provide.
  5. Tell your love ones how grateful you are for them.  Remind your spouse, significant other, parents, kids, friends, or pets that you are grateful for them.
  6. Write a note, or send a text.  Thank someone for something they have done for you.
  7. Give thanks for prayer requests you’ve made.  By giving thanks to God for what you’ve prayed about, you are telling God you know He has heard you, and He will answer.

I’m reminded of the miracle of Jesus healing the 10 lepers.  Only one of the lepers turned back and praised and thanked Jesus for what was done.  Because of his thanksgiving and faith, he was made whole (no more deformities).  (Luke 17: 11-19) 

Thanksgiving is a great time to begin to or continue to have an attitude of gratitude.  I encourage you to try the 7 ways to show gratitude. Take time to give daily thanks and decrease your cortisol levels and be healthier as a result.

Does gratitude improve health? Dr. TG Day, MD

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Thanksgiving is a great time to remind us of being grateful.  Does being grateful lead to being healthier?  Scientific studies have shown that an attitude of gratitude can improve health by decreasing cortisol levels.  Cortisol is the hormone that is released during stressful times.

  • Increased cortisol levels can lead to suppressed immunity.  When immunity is suppressed, it makes the body vulnerable to illnesses and diseases.
  • Increased cortisol levels can increase blood sugar, and lead to Diabetes Mellitus, as well as kidney, eye, heart disease, leg and foot problems.
  • Increased cortisol levels can lead to High blood pressure,  which can cause heart disease and strokes.
  • Increased cortisol levels can decrease the quality sleep.  If the body is not getting enough sleep, it can lead to a decline in health.

Take time to give thanks daily to decrease your cortisol levels!

When we give thanks for the blessings that we have, we allow more blessings to flow to us.  Being thankful is not about comparisons.  It is about saying thank you, for example, for being alive, having oxygen to breath, and being able to think.

During this week of Thanksgiving, let’s practice daily gratitude.  Each day, thank God for at least one thing, seven times during the day.  Note how you feel at the end of each day.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”                                                            -I Thessalonians 5:18-