Healthy to pass on
By Kandis Joubert
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For most, gratitude isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we think of healthy habits. Yet choosing an attitude of gratitude can be a game changer for our overall wellbeing. It can mend a lonely heart, renew an anxious or depressed mind, offer peace and comfort in reminding us how blessed we are, and ultimately change the trajectory of one’s life.
Now, I’m a science girl, and research in recent decades shows an overwhelmingly positive connection between gratitude and good health as it reduces stress, improves sleep quality, and correlates to generally higher energy and vitality. Gratefulness literally changes your brain at the neurotransmitter level (more dopamine and serotonin are released), and is a natural antidepressant forging new pathways within our brain, changing brain matter, to create a more grateful nature within us.
I know right… whoa. Grateful spouses tend to have healthier relationships. Grateful employees tend to willingly work more diligently and collaborate better. Grateful kids tend to appreciate simple things in life, be more content, and willing to pass that on to their friends. Pass that virus around.
We may not always feel grateful, therefore gratitude is a conscious choice. Speaking and acting our gratefulness out loud can be an effective way of reminding ourselves of all we have to be thankful for, and also teaching our children to pursue a habit of gratefulness. One of the reasons we see such an increase in depression today is that so often, people just don’t take the time to show appreciation anymore, and it adds up. So, thank God today. Write someone a thank you note. Tell someone you genuinely appreciate them and why. When I’m purposeful in maintaining an attitude of gratitude, that’s when I feel God’s peace that passes all understanding the most—regardless of what’s going on in the world.
Kandis Joubert is a NASM Certified Professional Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, wife, and mother to one very special spunky little girl.