Make gratitude an attitude for better health!
Increasingly, research is showing that practising gratitude affects one’s health – not just mentally and emotionally, but even physically!
Prof. Emmons, a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude, says that it can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude also reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.
Studies have also shown that grateful people engage in more exercise, have better dietary behaviours, are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol, and have higher rates of medication adherence – factors that translate into a healthier and happier life.
So why not set aside time on a daily basis to recall moments of gratitude associated with ordinary events, your personal attributes, or valued people in your life?
Practising gratitude should not be yet another chore that makes your life even more demanding. If you don’t have the energy for gratitude journals and letters, start small! For example, write down just one thing for which you are grateful on a sticky note each day, and then put the sticky note up on the fridge. Put the old notes in a jar – you could even consider making some time on New Year’s Eve to look back at what you have been grateful for, over the year.