How’s your thank you list going? Regularly writing down what you are thankful for can increase your level of happiness by at least 25%. I have always believed that an attitude of gratitude is vital to your happiness and your health because of what Scripture indicates. (Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” is just one example.)
However, Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier offers scientific evidence of this and that a grateful spirit actually improves your health: “The person who experiences gratitude is able to cope more effectively with everyday stress . . . recover more quickly from illness, and benefit from greater physical health.” I haven’t read the book yet, but I am always thrilled when scientists discover the reality of what Scripture has always said. Read more of the research results here.
I read Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy this year as I was going through a difficult time in my life. The book was a fresh reminder to concentrate on being thankful, which did tremendously help me cope with my circumstances at the time. God doesn’t just tell us to do something for no reason. He has our best interest in mind when He says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes. 5:18
Let’s teach our children early to have an attitude of gratitude, not just so we look good when they utter an unsolicited thank you to the waitress ;-), but so that throughout their lives they will experience all the positive effects of thankfulness that God intends for them.