Thankful for your health

If you need another reason to be thankful this season, you may want to consider being thankful for gratitude itself. Research has shown that individuals who feel more gratitude experience better health. Specifically, higher levels of gratitude have been found to have correlations to lower blood pressure, increased immune system function, and better, more efficient sleep. However, simply thinking that you feel thankful may not be enough to elicit these health benefits. Researchers have shown that individuals that engage in a particular gratitude related activity on a regular basis reap the benefits more than their counterparts who simply feel thankful. So what types of activities or practices might you add into your daily routine to start to capitalize on bettering your health? It does not have to be difficult or time consuming! Consider writing the one thing you are most grateful for in a journal each day, or even simply stating this information out loud to a friend or partner before falling asleep. Some researchers suggest adding a gratitude practice to a daily walk, which simply means incorporating an active thought of things you are grateful for while participating in your normal physical activity. This can also be done in the car on your way to work, or even while brushing your teeth in the morning. By incorporating a gratitude practice into your daily schedule, you may quickly find that you experience an increased level of happiness, decreased stress, and ultimately a boost in both your physical and mental health. Let this Thanksgiving be the starting point of a lifelong gratitude practice for yourself and your family members!