Thanksgiving is typically the one time of the year when we make an effort to reflect about what we’re grateful for. But by adopting an “attitude of gratitude” beyond the holiday season, you can enjoy many lasting health benefits. If you take some time each day to jot down the reasons you’re grateful, you could see some pretty powerful results:
In a series of experiments detailed in a 2003 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology the act of listing three to five things you’re thankful for every day in a gratitude journal improves your outlook.
Researchers also found that updating your gratitude journal at bedtime also helps you worry less, which in turn helps you get to sleep faster.
Journaling or expressing the ways you feel grateful for a loved is also linked to partners feeling more connected and satisfied in their relationships.
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study also linked journaling gratitude to better health. Gratitude breeds optimism and participants in the study exercised more regularly, decreasing their cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, linked to our ability to fight off colds.
If keeping a physical journal seems too difficult, try finding a free diary app for your smartphone. Or, start small and find little ways to celebrate the things that made your day great. What are you grateful for today?
HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes.
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