Get it Together

Being Thankful is a Choice

How many times have you heard that one?

Like most things we think or do, it’s a choice.  Many times we have to consciously make the choice.

I want to be a thankful person on an everyday basis, sometimes I get it sometimes I don’t.  I really want my kids to be thankful and understand what it means to be thankful.

An article by “Psychology Today“, proves that it helps your overall health to be thankful.  In this article, he mentions studies that have been done which connect being grateful with improved depression symptoms.  He also mentions a study done with young adults in which, each group was given the assignment to journal daily.  One group, why they were better than others, another group, things that annoyed them, and a group that journaled things they were grateful for.

Guess which one had better levels of determination, attention, enthusiasm and energy?

Yep, the gratitude group.

There is also an interesting study noting the changes that happen in the brain when we are thankful or grateful on a daily basis.  It actually increases activity in the hypothalamus which is good for the entire body.  It improves metabolism, bodily functions and sleep patterns to name a few.

Another place I looked for information on gratitude, is Dr. Caroline Leaf.  This woman is a brilliant scientist who has some amazing information about our brains that will blow your mind!!  I have read a book of hers called, “Who Switched Off My Brain”, and followed her for a few years now.  I enjoy her teaching because, quite frankly, its common sense!!

She talks about how your brain is not a static unchanging thing.  You do indeed have hope for change!  Contrary to what we may have been taught, our brains do indeed change!  Look at this from her blog article:

Fortunately certain discoveries have led credence to the biblical view, Dr Leaf’s research included. It was discovered that the brain continually changes in response to mental and sensory signals throughout the human life span [6].  This process has now been termed ‘neuroplasticity’. It was once thought that, as adults, we had the full complement of nerve cells (neurons) and that we basically lost neurons until we died. Now we know scientifically that we continue to produce neurons in certain areas of the brain constantly, a process known as neurogenesis [7].

(click on the links to check out the articles for yourselves if you like.)

You make the choice.  The Bible says to “take every thought captive and bring it into obedience” she, and the Psychology Today article are saying the same thing.  Train your brain to be thankful on a regular basis and you will be healthier, happier and feel better.  be-happy-no-thankful-173059-530-353_large

I have a friend who loves to journal, and through her I have found LOTS of new ways to journal.  Turns out, you don’t have to just write stuff in a notebook!  Some people like to do that, and that is what I generally do.  Though, on occasion, you will find a random picture or poem.  Other people make elaborate, beautiful drawings and use drawing books rather than notebooks.  Go on Pinterest and out some of them. They will either inspire you or discourage you.  Again, its your choice.

What I generally do is look at something, see that it’s not something I can realistically do, and figure out how I can do it.  I allow myself to be inspired by what I see, not discouraged.  Even if all you do is draw a stick figure, so what?  It’s your journal, draw stick figures!!

Here is what I am suggesting:  Find a journal book that you like.  A drawing book, a graph paper book, a blank book, a composition notebook, whatever.    I don’t care what it is, as long as you like it.  Then for one month, write, draw, doodle what you are thankful for.  Every day for one month.  Set a time for 15 minutes if you need to.  I like to put a date on things but you don’t have to.

Then, after one month, come back to this post and let me know what has happened to you.  Do you feel happier?  Are you less discouraged?? I would love to hear about it.

Blessings,

And enjoy your journey to thankfulness!!

Vicki

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