Desert Streams Monthly E Newsletter

The Benefits of a Thankful Heart

We often hear phrases like “attitude of gratitude”, “have a thankful heart”, or “let’s be thankful” .  For the month of Thanksgiving, it is worth spending some time focusing on the very real and tangible benefits of being thankful.  In 2007 Robert Emmons began researching gratitude through a psychological lens.  He found that expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well being.  Being thankful also impacts the overall experience of happiness and this tends to be long lasting.  In his study he found that the following are actual benefits to being thankful:
*We have greater optimism
*We have improved feelings of connection in times of loss or crises
*We have improved self esteem
*We have heightened energy level
*We have a strengthened heart and immune system
*We have improved emotional and academic intelligence
*We have expanded capacity for forgiveness
*We have a decrease in stress, anxiety, depression and headaches.

All good to know and the good news doesn’t stop there, God tells us in His word that He values and encourages us to being thankful:
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  1 Chronicles 16:34
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”  Psalm 69:30
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6

With all these benefits, and importance to the Lord in regards to being Thankful, how about you take some time every day this month and be purposefully thankful for the people and things in your life.  You can take a family wipe board, and every day write what you are thankful for, post it on social media, or mark it in your notes app on your phone every day.  When we magnify what we are thankful for, those things that are annoying, irritating or bothersome shrink in size both mentally and emotionally.  

Happy Thanksgiving!
Respectfully submitted,
Pam Stinchcomb, LMSW