Advent Gratitude Challenge
What is gratitude? As kids, we get taught to thank others when they give us a gift or make a nice gesture.
We learn to thank naturally as a social standard. But how frequently do we communicate gratitude for small daily good things? Do we truly understand what it means to be grateful? How often do we express “thank you” without truthfully feeling thankful?
Gratitude is a conscious, positive emotion expressed when we’re grateful for something tangible or intangible.
Gratitude entails far more than merely being polite. It’s a practice that entails recognising someone else’s gesture towards us or the good things in our lives. It involves both the process of identifying the positive and its outcome. As Christians our gratitude will most likely be directed towards God and will cause us to see God and the good in all circumstances.
Gratitude is vital for psychological well-being and personal growth. Regular expressions of gratitude result in increased happiness and reports of greater life satisfaction, meaningfulness, and productivity. Dopamine (a chemical released in the brain that makes you feel good) is unleashed in the brain when someone expresses or receives gratitude. Dopamine gets produced in two brain regions; one is concerned with movement and speech, while the other is concerned with reward. Dopamine is released when a person expresses or receives gratitude, creating a link between the behaviour and feeling good. The more a person expresses gratitude, the more dopamine is released.
When expressed regularly, gratitude is a powerful emotion with numerous positive consequences:
- closeness to God
- increased happiness
- positive mood
- more satisfaction with life
- less materialistic
- less likely to experience burnout
- better physical health
- better sleep
- less fatigue
- lower levels of cellular inflammation
- greater resilience
- encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom.
By becoming more thankful you will find it easier to become even more thankful as the pathways in your brain will get stronger leading you to have a more positive attitude.
Expressing gratitude is a simple, quick everyday intervention that can help you to draw closer to your creator God and to give Him even just a little bit of the glory that He deserves!
Try this 7 day gratitude challenge in the run up to christmas!
Grab some paper and write down:
Day 1: 3 positive things from your day big or small
Day 2: Something fun or funny that happened today
Day 3: Something kind/good that you saw someone else do
Day 4: Something about today that you will always remember
Day 5: A characteristic of God that you can see in action today
Day 6: Your favourite part of the day
Day 7: Something that God has shown you or changed in you
May we have a thankful, grateful attitude this Christmas!
Hope to see you in 2023!
Retreat bookings open on 1st January!
Our Healthy, Whole & Free Course also launches in a more accessible way, watch this space!
Many blessings to you from the Fitfish Team!