Thankfulness vs. Stress
STRESS, STRESS and more STRESS, What is stress? Simply put stress is what you feel when; you have to handle more than you are used to.
When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. Stress makes hormones that speed up your heart, makes you breathe faster, and gives you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.
Some stress is normal and even useful, however, if stress happens too often or last too long it can have a negative affect on the body. Stress can be linked to headaches, upset stomach, back pain and trouble sleeping. In addition, stress can weaken your immune system making it hard to fight disease, and for those of us who have pre-existing health problems, stress can make our health problem worse.
What can be done to lower our stress level? It has been noted that their is one powerful emotion that can help us battle the onslaught of bad stress, that emotion is THANKFULNESS. Thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Thankfulness is linked with gratitude and appreciation.
Professor Robert Emmons, of the University of California at Davis, states, "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress and to achieve a positive sense of self."
Interestingly, Time Magazine points out, "People who describe themselves as feeling grateful... tend to have higher vitality and more optimism, suffer less stress and experience fewer episodes of clinical depression than the population as a whole." That being the case, there is a good reason therefore, to be thankful.
No wonder then, the number one best seller for many years, the "Bible" encourages us to "show yourselves thankful" (Colossians 3:15). Thankfulness can be considered an affective stress pill! As "thankfulness" takes a back seat in our modern world, this fact being evident on all levels of human society, stress is on the raise, and chance are stress will continue to increase.
For the sake of lowering our stress level, it behooves us to consider battling stress by practicing the art of thankfulness.
References: www.merrian.webster.com; Awake magazine,Oct/2007
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