Every life traveled on this earth goes through the muck. No one is exempt from hardship. No one is exempt from heartbreak. No one is exempt from pain. No one gets out alive. We truly are more alike than we are different. We are all on the same train, headed to the same destination, we are simply on different cars. Your muck will look different than my muck – it isn’t a competition – it’s just muck.
Although it is helpful to step into gratitude daily, it is during the murkiest times of life that we need to make that effort a priority. Gratitude has huge physiological benefits to maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit. Science shows that sitting in the feeling of gratitude for a mere four minutes provides the internal body with the right environment to produce its own DHEA. Why is that important? Because DHEA is the natural combatant to the major stress hormone Cortisol. These days, when stress for most of us is off the charts, not only are our adrenal glands overworked and fatigued, but our Cortisol levels are at an all-time high. I realize this is a generalized statement and that depending on how each of us are managing the stress in our lives our levels could be more or less. But you get the point. We all need more tools to regulate stress, worry, fear and uncertainty.
This week, we are encouraged to find the gift in the burdens we are experiencing. And if that feels too daunting a task, or the blessings haven’t revealed themselves yet, why not take a few minutes to simply reflect on all the things that we are thankful for, grateful for and blessed with? There are no negative side effects to gratitude, no harm can come from this approach. At an absolute minimum, it will make our days brighter. Let’s start shining light on the beautiful pieces of our journey through life and reap the rewards together.
What are you grateful for today?