There’s the physical weight of anxiety:
- Digestion of food is hindered
- Sleep is disrupted
- Short-term memory is hampered
- Immune system is depressed
- Heart disease risks are elevated
- Not to mention the emotional and relational weights of anxiety
But do you know what brings an almost immediate bounce-back from these conditions? Feeling and expressing gratitude.
The feelings of gratitude…
- Release endorphins (the feel-good hormone)
- Make good memories easier to recall
- Strengthen relationships
- Improve overall physical health
The verse I quoted earlier from Proverbs was only the first half of the verse. The full verse says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Science tells us that it doesn’t matter if those good words are words others say to us, or words we say to ourselves, or words we say to others. Our bodies cannot tell the difference, so any grateful/thankful/positive words cancel out the heaviness of anxiety!
Try it! Keep a gratitude journal … write a letter to someone you haven’t properly thanked for their investment in your life … make it a point to compliment others … speak more positively to yourself. Those grateful words are not only the antidote to the anxiety weighing you down now but also the inoculation against future anxiety.
We’ll be looking at more benefits of gratitude next week, as we continue our series A Grateful Heart Is A Strong Heart. Please join me!