There are people in the world that are angry and bitter about everything. Someone buys them a free coffee and they get mad that it wasnt hot enough. They win the lottery and they grumble about taxes. They make every green light on the way to work, and are irritated that they got to work a few minutes early. You just cant please someone that doesnt have an attitude of gratitude. But did you know that these people are more likely to suffer from a heart attack than those who are grateful?
Be Happy, Be Healthy
Research shows that when we are grateful for what we have, we are happier people. Thats a great end as itself, but there is more to learn from that study.
Grateful people are happier overall. This leads them to being more pleasant to be around. Who likes to hang out with a downer, grump, or angry person? Not very many of us do. But those happy people are not just helping others by being fun to be around. Those happy people are helping themselves by reducing their stress. Less stress also means they will have lower blood pressure. And we all know that lower blood pressure means that you are less likely to suffer from adverse cardiovascular conditions. Simply put, gratitude leads to happiness leads to less stress leads to low blood pressure leads to a healthier heart.
Give Thanks for Everything
It is easy to be grateful for the things that are going our way. But what about the bad things too? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Everything means the good AND the bad. So how do we do that? Well if you get a flat tire, be glad you can afford a car. If you gain a few pounds over Thanksgiving weekend, be glad that you can afford food. If someone runs into your car in the parking lot and fails to leave a note, be happy that you they didnt run over you instead. It can take time to train our brain to be grateful, but in the end, you will be healthier for it.
How to Be Grateful
The easiest way to develop the habit of gratitude is to set aside time EVERY day to do so. When you wake up in the morning, count your blessings. When you sit down for lunch, give thanks for what you have. Offer up a quick prayer in the afternoon thanking God that you are able to be alive today. At church on Sunday spend the time rejoicing that you arent being shot just for going to church.
Be grateful for what you have, because it may just save your life.