I pray that you are feeling strong in your mind and your spirit. Well, we are one week away from Thanksgiving Day. Although on the calendar it is celebrated only on one day, the truth is we should be thankful every day that God kisses us with life showing us how much He loves us. My Queens, I know in today’s world many people are focused on eating healthy and exercising for optimum health. Let’s not forget to add taking supplements and drinking plenty of water. I wholeheartedly agree with all of that and how it should be a part of our daily routine. However, today I want to share with you a practice that provides an added benefit. It’s the health benefit of having a thankful heart.
According to the CDC, high blood pressure was linked to more than half a million deaths in 2019, and it is estimated that less than 25% of adults with high blood pressure in the U.S. have their blood pressure under control. Chronic stress has been linked to higher blood pressure, connecting stress to many forms of heart disease. Being thankful, even for the little things, helps to lower your stress levels, improve your blood pressure, and even reduce inflammation. All of this will add up to improved heart health. Ladies, did you know there is also evidence that people who practice gratitude also exercise more and make better health choices in their diet? (I need that) These choices strengthen the heart and supply it with the right fuel to keep beating. They also improve mood and reduce stress over longer periods of time. So, what I am encouraging you to do is take a moment to think about your blessings. My grandmother would say it like this, “count your many blessings and name them one by one”. You would be surprised how truly blessed we are. Practicing gratitude can lift your spirits and give you the gift of better heart health. Here are a few ways you can begin to focus on gratitude and develop a thankful heart.
Focus on Gratitude
Focus on the small things around you that you may take for granted. Such as clean water and food, the bed you sleep in, or just having the freedom to come and go as you choose.
Take a walk through a park and be thankful for eyes to see the beauty of the Fall colors, and the sunshine, or listen to the laughter of children playing. You can add many more things to this list according to your life and what is around you.
Take a moment to appreciate having lunch with a friend or co-worker, playing a board game with your children, having a popcorn and movie night with your family, or weekly date night with your spouse.
Please don't forget about being a blessing to someone who is facing a hard time right now during this holiday season. You would be surprised how many nonprofits would benefit greatly from a donation of blankets, personal items, or a financial donation to help someone. Those organizations are always looking for volunteers throughout the year but especially during this time of the year.
My point is to take time to be intentional to think about what makes each day such a gift for you. This will not only lift your spirits, but your heart will thank you too.
Call to Action: Take a moment today to count your many blessings and be a blessing to someone else.