Gratitude and Benevolence
In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Researchers at the Stanford University of California at San Diego reported that such positive attitudes as Gratitude, optimism, perseverance and absence of malice are linked to a better chance of beating disease and higher survival rates when disease does occur.
New studies show that worry, anxiety, anger, hostility, grief, fear, negativism and mental stress all depress the immune system especially " T" Killer cell activity and its ability to fight viruses, bacteria and cancer. (Guilt-free Gourmet Pg 265, 266)
If we take the Bible at its word and give thanks in everything, even when we don't feel like it, psychological research actually suggests that just deciding to have a cheerful countenance can generate amazing changes. Not just a " cheese" smile that only affects the mouth, but a "sincerely happy" smile in which the muscles around the eyes are flexed as well, generates the same positive brain activity in the frontal cortex as a spontaneously happy smile. We can actually cheer ourselves up, as well as cheering others by simply "putting on a happy face. (Guilt-free Gourmet pg 268) Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Jesus often used music to lift the mood of others. We are told, Often dwellers in Nazereth heard [Jesus] voice raised in preaise and thanksgiving to God. As [Jesus] companions complained of weariness from labor they were cheered by the sweet melody from his lips. (Desire of Ages pg. 73)
Music is now being studied and used in depression therapy. It improves the overall mood and study participants reported feeling less fatigue and depression. Yet, traditional classical music (which includes classical hymns) is the only style of music demonstrated to improve mental health both subjectively and objectively to date. Heavy metal music, by the way increases the risk of suicide quite significantly. ( Depression the Way Out pg 84, 85, 27)
Benevolence also has a way of raising our level of health. Senior citizens who volunteer approximately 40 hours a year experience greater longevity than those who do not. One interesting study showed that helping strangers gave more of an immune boost than helping those you were aquianted with. (Guilt-free Gourmet pg 266)
Again this fulfills scriptue. In Isaiah 58, God says, Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily:( Isaiah 58:6-8)
God's plan is always the best. In everything give thanks and in helping others you will also help yourself live longer and happier.