Imagine being close to starvation, losing half of your family, needing warmth and shelter, fearing strangers in a new land, and at times wondering if your journey was worth the sacrifices and losses. This is the story of the Pilgrims. Yet, these Godly people practiced daily gratitude. And so should we—even in the deepest trials of our lives. Their attitude reminds us to count our blessings and reveals the healing power of gratitude.
The Apostle Paul instructed us to “give thanks in all things” as he wrote from his prison cell. Cancer can be like living in a prison cell. Your entire life is put on hold as you face uncertainties, fears of death, financial difficulties, unending treatments, and alienation. However, those four walls gave me much time to think, reevaluate my life, and draw closer to God and my spouse. It also caused me to look deeper into my lifestyle habits. What was I doing that contributed to my cancer diagnosis?
Psychologist Renee Jain recommends a well-known and researched exercise to get out of a negative rut and improve psychological, social, and physical health—the Three Blessings Exercise. You simply write down three good things that have happened to you that day. “Studies reveal,” Jain says, “that those who continue this exercise for one week straight can increase their happiness and decrease depressive symptoms for up to a six-month period.”
Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul also gave us these instructions during tough times?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,
If there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The art of practicing daily gratitude does not stop when cancer or any disease shows up at your door. Just start by making a list. The more I looked the more I found. Every day is a gift.
Each of us is a gift to each other, and let us not forget to count the many simple blessings we experience each day. May we use our blessings to bless others. When we remember to count our blessings and bless others, the healing power of gratitude is released. So let the healing begin!
What simple things are you thankful for? Did you know that gratitude helps your body to heal?
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
For Your Health,