An Attitude of Gratitude – How it Affects Your Body

 

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Luke 22:17 And when He (Jesus) had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;
vs 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”
vs 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Whenever Jesus broke bread, He always gave thanks first.  He had gratitude.  His gratitude, or thankfulness was beyond His words.  His thankfulness was in His heart.  He was truly appreciative of what He was about to partake in, and that His Father provided the food for Him.  This is the example He gave to us that we should also be sure to practice.

But, let’s move beyond the rote prayers we say and get right to what happens in the body when we truly give thanks from our heart.

Gratitude puts us at ease.  Gratitude changes our PH from acidic to more alkaline.  Gratitude helps digestion.

On the contrary, stress creates an acidic environment.  Stress activates the fight or flight response in your central nervous system causing digestion to shut down because your central nervous system shuts down blood flow, affecting the contractions of your digestive muscles, and decreasing secretions needed for digestion.

You need a central place to eat to bring your body to a place of peace.  Eating in the car on the way to work, or anywhere else, is not that place.   Eating in front of the television is not that place.  Eating while upset at your spouse or children causes food to go undigested.  Stomach acid backs up out of the stomach into the esophagus causing acid reflux and when it backs up OUT of the stomach, it is not breaking down food properly IN the stomach.

I’ll take this out to the furthest extreme to give a snapshot of what a lifestyle of stressful  eating can cause.

Stressful eating reflects a heart of anger and bitterness.
Anger and bitterness lowers the ph in the body, causing acidity.
A chronic high acidity level produces inflammation.
Any “ITIS” is chronic inflammation; arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, etc.
ALL CANCER is preceeded by inflammation, therefore ALL CANCER began with an unresolved anger.
ALL CANCER is preceeded by chronic acidity.
Autoimmune diseases are preceeded by leaky gut (poor digestion), and poor digestion has a root in stressful eating.

Develop a heart of gratitude.  You have control over your emotions because you have control over your thoughts.  Emotions are products of your thought life, although hormones play a part in what kind of emotions we have as well.  It is important to focus on what thoughts you are giving power to, which is why avoiding distraction at the dinner table is critical to health and well-being.

Give thanks before each meal.  Although you prepared the food, it would not exist if the Lord had not provided it.  He knows exactly what you need.  Release a blessing on your food as well.  We aren’t always able to eat organic or whole food and sometimes we eat out and are trusting that the preparers had clean hands and the kitchen is sanitary.  Release a blessing.

Don’t put a bite to your mouth until you are at peace.  Peace in your body activates the “rest and digest” response in the body, which signals that all is well.  The esophagus doesn’t spasm, as when under stress, and therefore acid remains in the stomach and digestion is about to happen.

Resolve family issues before eating.  This is critical.  1 Corinthians 11:27 exhorts us to examine ourselves before we eat.  Check our hearts to see if there is any unforgiveness (which leads to bitterness and bitterness produces acidity).  Jesus says that many are “sickly and have fallen asleep” because we have not discerned the body correctly.  I believe that means our own physical body and the body that we are apart of with others.

Eat together whenever possible. This goes along with the above. Enjoy each other.  Let eating be combined with fellowship and blessings. Eating together in peace provides a sense of belonging, security, and joy.  These promote alkalinity and the “Rest and digest” response.

Eat at a central area, away from television and other distractions.  Practice mindful eating.  That means consider what you are putting in your mouth when you eat.  You can’t do that in front of the television because your mind is elsewhere.  Romans 14 says we are to be fully convinced that the way we are eating and what we are eating is pleasing to the Lord.

Thank the Lord for your body for it is fearfully and wonderfully made.   Psalm 139 says “I will PRAISE you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”   PRAISE produces alkalinity and may lower inflammation.  PRAISE is Gratitude.  “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise.”  (Psalm 100:4)  When you thank the Lord for your body, knowing it is FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made, you know that God has created your body for OPTIMAL FUNCTION and WELLNESS.  He didn’t design you to be sick.   SO THANK HIM!  PRAISE HIM!

Resolve offenses.  It may have been years since you ate while angry with someone and stuffed it.  Resolve offenses going forward.  Ask forgiveness for those you have been angry with in the past.  If restitution needs to be made, make it.

He made you to be whole.