Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."

A while back I read a fascinating article called “How the new science of thank you can change your life.” Apparently science has now been able to prove what God has been teaching people since the days of Cain: practicing gratitude can actually make us healthier – literally!!

Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at UC Davis, has been able to prove, in his lab, that being thankful can change us for the better. He took three groups of volunteers and assigned them to focus on one thing:

1) The first group concentrated on everything that went wrong, or irritated them
2) The second group homed in on situations they felt made their lives better
3) The third group was asked to think about ordinary life events

After the experiment was over, the people who focused on gratitude discovered they were happier – the difference was so noticeable that others recognized it too.
1) We’ll sleep better
2) We’ll be more enthusiastic, more interested, more determined
3) We’ll be less materialistic, less apt to connect life satisfaction with material things
4) We’ll be more energetic and actually exercise more
5) We’ll feel more optimistic and joyful, better resilience during tough times
6) We’re more likely to share what we have with others
7) We’ll have fewer headaches and colds and a stronger immune system
8) We’ll be less envious, less anxious, less prone to feel the blues and less stressed
9) We’ll be more alert and active
10) We’ll be more likely to help other people
11) We’ll actually live longer
12) We’ll have closer family ties
13) We’ll have a deeper spirituality
14) And if we’re willing to stick to it, being thankful, practicing gratitude, we’ll realize we’re making progress toward our life goals.

As Paul the apostle instructed in Colossians 4:2, "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."

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