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Cultivating a grateful heart is one of the best skills you can practice. Seriously, it changes everything.

A woman willingly participated in a biofeedback study. The doctors conducting the study asked her to think of a stressful situation, and then they monitored her heart rate and blood pressure—both rose dramatically.

Stress will do that, huh? Then they asked her to begin imagining a situation for which she was extremely grateful. Guess what? Her blood pressure and heart rate immediately dropped to within a normal range.

God knew what He was doing when He invited us to praise and give Him thanks. When we praise Him, our entire being is transformed—body, soul and spirit. Over the last 20 years, I have watched God lower blood pressure, change attitudes, transform thinking and heal bodies when people have intentionally chosen to praise God. The transformation is remarkable!

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This Thanksgiving, why not be intentional with your praise? Instead of focusing only on family, turkey, pumpkin pie and football, why not carve out some quiet moments to reflect on the goodness of God?

Here's a plan to help you get started:

Read Psalm 103. Read the psalm slowly, enjoying and savoring the poetry. Then read it out loud as a declaration over your life. Then grab a journal and a pen and start recording your praise. Think back specifically over the past year as you reflect on the questions below.

 

What sinful attitudes has God forgiven in your life?

 

What diseases has God healed for you personally or in the lives of those you love? 

 

How has God redeemed your life from the pit? 

 

What desires of your heart has God answered? 

 

How have you experienced the deep love and compassion of God?

 

Listen here to "Count Your Blessings" by J.J. Heller. 

 

End your time by writing out a prayer of praise for the blessings of the past year.  

Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world.

Connect with Becky at beckyharling.comFacebook or Twitter.

This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com

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