Friday, April 24, 2015

FOCUSING ON OUR BLESSINGS

FOCUSING ON OUR BLESSINGS

Living in chronic pain can leave us focusing on our physical, emotional, spiritual, relational and financial losses of how pain impacts lives! Dwelling on all these things becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to break! All this affects our well-being! It's easy for others to tell us to look at the bright side of life! LOL! Right!

Myself, being a chronic pain sufferer, I do know how hard it is to try and focus on our blessings when we are faced with so many issues! (you can read my diagnoses and history at -  http://functionallivingwithchronicpain.blogspot.com/2015/04/learning-new-normal-living-with-chronic.html)  It just takes all the emotional strength we have to even try to see in the darkness of all the negativity to even consider one small thing being a blessing! But no matter how small the blessings, we really need to focus on them, they can lift up our spirits! There can be a light in our darkness!

I decided to take the weekend to focus on blessings! In most places the sun is shining, spring is bringing forth warmth, flowers, bright green little leaves on trees are popping out and the birds are singing! Focusing on all this and many of our other blessings, lifts our spirits, can help us be more calm, relaxed, and overall, help us feel better emotionally! It is almost like being transformed like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. It gives you a sense of freedom and hope!

FOCUSING ON BLESSINGS AFFECTS US PHYSIOLOGICALLY

There are many scientific studies that show that focusing on blessings (some call it positive thinking) changes the chemicals in our brain called serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. Some call these hormones our natural antidepressants. Here's an informative article from the Huffington post that describes all these hormones specifically, so I won't go into them.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thai-nguyen/hacking-into-your-happy-c_b_6007660.html

Also, science has proven that people that are more likely to focus on their blessings are not only happier, but more compassionate, generous and helpful. They are even more likely to make progress towards personal goals, and make healthier choices such as exercising and eating better. All this can increase feelings of well-being as well.  I can't exercise because of my spine issues and chronic pain but my pain doctor has encouraged me to walk at a slow pace for 2 minutes,10-12 times a day! I can tell that really makes me feel better not only physically, (when I am actually able to do it), but emotionally. I was "pushing through the pain" to walk just 5-10 minutes at P.T. which would leave me in bed for 3-4 day! So this is really helpful to me! And has worked!

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures!" -Thornton Wilder

It's good that science can back up physiological responses for what we do with our thoughts and how we respond to life, as well as the physiological responses to exercise! Our bodies have been wonderfully created! Here are a few things (of many!) that have been suggested to us, for our own well-being, for thousands of years!

Proverbs4:23 Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.

Philippians 4:6-9King James Version (KJV)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.



As a first step in focusing on your blessings,  I want to encourage you to keep a blessing's journal! Just try it! Just for the a few days and see what happens! I had actually gone out and bought a pretty spiral bound journal to keep my blessings listed!! It really does help ones spirit feel better! I use this as a tool in my new "normal!" It breaks the vicious cycle of all the negativity! AND as stated above, science has proven it can change your brain chemistry and make you feel better! Most of all, the Creator of our beings has given us instructions on what to do with our thought life! Check that out!

There are an unbelievable amount of "suggestions" scattered all throughout the Bible! It is a literal treasure chest! For a population of people that seriously have major issues with this, one would think looking in a place where the answers are freely given would be a much sought after activity!

I also like to use Pinterest and pin things that bring me happiness and joy! Many of us know how fun that is!

I also wanted to share that while researching blessings and scientific studies, I came across this page to where you can post a blessing and they keep a count on them! I thought it was kind of fun so I added a blessing! Add your blessing too! Fun!
http://www.ourblessingscount.com/

Well, I'll be back later to post more about blessings! Hubby's taking me away for the weekend! I'll try to post some pictures for you all to see some of the blessings I most enjoy!

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