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Authentic Gratitude Strengthens Your Immune System

By November 30, 2023December 6th, 2023No Comments

Guest blog by Pamela Holloway


Sitting in the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas on a bright sunny afternoon with Christmas carols playing in the background, Colossians 3:16 calls out, “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Gratitude – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

There is so much to be grateful for, right? Everywhere you look there is some sort of thankful, blessed, grateful decor adorning friends’ social media posts with their families dressed in coordinated clothing, smiling in beautiful settings with perfectly edited photos and quips about how amazing everything is…. So why do so many find themselves wanting to skip the entire season, the weight of it being too much to bear? What is it with all the gratitude around that leaves a feeling of unsettled disappointment?

Gratitude in the midst of suffering is a challenge. When you’ve lost your house, your kids are sick and you can’t see the way ahead and then you hear God say, “Labor to rest, I’ve got this and I’ve got you.” We can choose to be thankful for Him showing you once more that you can be thankful in all things–because He is your refuge.

Gratitude in hard times invites us to look deeper at who Christ is within us and who we are within Him. It means peering deep into your wounded soul and finding the authentic light that is Him…and allowing Him to carry you through and heal you because of it.

Research has shown that authentic gratitude as a lifestyle practice increases motivation and creates a resilient immune system. It reduces inflammation, changing the brain and heart interaction, decreasing anxiety and depression. Authentic gratitude comes from the giving or receipt of a kindness that was freely given.

Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist at Stanford School of Medicine and podcaster of the Huberman Lab, recently studied the science of gratitude and identified the physiological benefits of gratitude resulted from three simple steps.

  1. Gratitude needs to be grounded in the authentic, heartfelt story of receiving gratitude from someone personally or witnessing someone else receiving heartfelt gratitude.
  2. Reflecting on that experience, allowing yourself to feel the emotion of the gratitude and making a few short notes or a visual reminder that allows you to quickly revisit that emotion of gratitude.
  3. Spend one minute, three times a week or more, resting in the story of the gratitude.

Authentic gratitude that creates resilience is not positivity and it isn’t simply saying you’re grateful. It is the authentic heart connection with those around you that allows you to be grateful in all circumstances because God is your refuge. Take a moment today and ask the Lord to show you His heart for you… and record your own gratitude story. You’ll be walking with Him and improving your health!


Pam Holloway

Pamela Holloway is a retired army nurse who has grown into a health researcher. She co-created the first holistic peer reviewed protocol for COVID, published by The Academy of Comprehensive Integrative Medicine, and then carried it out at our church (The Road @ Chapel Hills) as a ministry ( Pamela then went on to create Radical Resilience + Health( to set the foundation that allows people to maintain physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual resilience in their lives.