I have been thinking and studying about gratitude lately. Thanksgiving is the time of year that most Americans focus on the things they are thankful for. As I was writing this post I considered making it a post like so many others listing out everything that I am thankful for. I love those kinds of posts usually but this time I feel the need to express why we should be thankful. It isn't the reason that you think.
An attitude of gratitude and why it can and will help you
Writing from the Christian perspective it would be easy for people to think that I would say we should do it because God tells us to. Have you ever wondered why God tells us to be thankful?  It probably isn't the reason you think.
Did you know that when you are emotionally thankful that it causes your brain to release oxytocin. God created our brains and He knows that when we are emotionally thankful that this hormone will be released.

Oxytocin is the love/bonding hormone. It causes us to bond with and feel closer to the one we are thankful to. It also causes us to be more generous, calm, peaceful and have an overall happy state of mind.
Isn't that cool? Every time we are thankful then it causes us to feel all of those good things. No wonder God tells us to be thankful in everything. Lots of people misquote that scripture. It doesn't say to be thankful for everything but it does say to be thankful in every circumstance 1 Thess 5:18 NLT.

I don't know if that changes how you look at that scripture but it does for me. It inspires me and knowing why I need to be thankful motivates me even more to do it. It makes me look at gratitude in a whole different way. No wonder I always feel better when I am being thankful and especially when I am thankful towards God. Imagine how the world could change if everyone truly spent more time being thankful. It would be a much happier place for everyone.

There are several others who are linking up and writing about gratitude...I hope you will check out our blog circle:  This is a worldwide circle and so coordinating the times can be a bit tricky so I posted the whole circle just in case someone didn't quite make it. You can read the next blog post in the circle at my friend's blog:

Seasons of Grace & Wisdom

Just In Case here is the whole Shebang:

Lalymille Dream Love Inspire
TexasdaiseyCreations YOU ARE HERE!!!
Seasons of Grace & Wisdom
On A Journey Back To Her Wings
Sandy Mair Art
Michelle Hill Designs
Vickie Martin
Karrlin Bain
Lavender Chalet
Lisa R. Ullrich Heart Soul Create
The Artsy Girl Studio
Rainbow Light Angel
Red Pear Creative

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Sandy King said...

Debbie this was a wonderful read. I commented in my blog about focusing on gratitude as a verb not a noun and your message I think has the same flow.. being thankful IN every circumstance is really what it's all about. Heartaches and successes.. And don't you think cats look like they have all the answers , they just aren't sharing them :)..XX Great pictures.

Sandy King said...

This was a wonderful read Debbie. A comment in my gratitude blog had the same focus I think. Using gratitude as a verb, not a noun sounds like " thankful IN every circumstance". What a lovely way to look at life.
And don't you think cats always look like they have all the answers but aren't willing to share them ? Great addition to your post..XX

Unknown said...

Debbie, I agree, gratitude makes people feel good. I think we've lost sight of that in many ways. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people could learn to feel gratitude as an automatic response, instead of one we tend to overlook? xoxo

Unknown said...

What a wonderful way to look at Gratitude Debbie as I too feel the same way. I wish more people would look at the world with appreciation for all the good in their lives and understand that in doing so, they will receive more! And PS... LOVE the pictures of your kitty!

ginger deverell said...

Thanks Debbie, for your lovely uplifting post. I loved learning that our brains release happy/ bonding hormones when we feel gratitude - another fabulous reason to practice gratitude! I agree with Lisa, if we could learn to feel gratitude as our automatic response the world would be a place of peace and love. xox

Unknown said...

Great post Debbie, the human brain is so amazing (and I'm guessing cats' too, yours looks very happy!) Hugs! Laly

Amy Riddle, C.C. said...

I love keeping my oxytocin levels up! <3