We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We encourage you to continue to express your gratitude this holiday season; after all, doing so could improve your healthy in many ways.
Be Grateful, It’s Healthy!
Scientists are discovering that gratitude doesn’t just make you feel like a better person, it’s good for your health too! Being grateful can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life that go beyond the feelings associated with it.
1. Improve Heart Health. According to a study at the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine, people who were more grateful had better heart health; they experienced less inflammation and healthier heart rhythms! Those people also showed an overall better well-being, a less depressed mood and less fatigue.
2. Improve Immune Function. Researchers at the universities of Utah and Kentucky observed that stressed-out law students, who thought of themselves as optimistic, actually had more disease-fighting cells in their bodies.
3. Various Other Benefits. Studies also show that people who keep a gratitude journal have a reduced dietary fat intake – as much as 25 percent lower. Stress hormones like cortisol are also 23 percent lower. And the practice of keeping a gratitude journal can actually reduce the effects of aging to the brain.
“Gratitude works because, as a way of perceiving and interpreting life, it recruits other positive emotions that have direct physical benefits, most likely through the immune system or endocrine system.” – Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis
How to Start a Gratitude Journal:
1. Choose a journal.
2. Focus on the gratitude journal benefits (lower stress levels, greater sense of calm or a new level of clarity).
3. Set aside time for writing; make it a habit.
4. Start with gratitude journal prompts.
5. Think of fresh topics or things you haven’t wrote about yet.
6. Find what works best for you. After all, it’s your journal.
7. Check in with yourself regularly, and think about how your happiness has changed over time.