There’s scientific proof that gratitude is something to be grateful for when it comes to your health.
You might have heard of the attitude of gratitude – it’s a common term in the health and well-being circles, but beyond making you feel good, do you know the actual health benefits it has on you? Well, we found out for you!
That gratitude has a positive impact on our mental health is not something surprising, but the fact that it’s beneficial for your overall health might come as a surprise for some – health and gratitude actually go together. The attitude of gratitude is nothing new, it’s been practiced for centuries in various different religions around the world but it’s only recently science has caught up with the trend though and started investigating what gratitude does for you. And the conclusions reached by various studies shows that it has a positive effect on your overall health.
- Better Overall Health Care – Research done at the University of California shows that grateful people take better care of their health by doing regular exercise, having a healthy diet and going to regular physical check-ups. Given research has shown that a healthy lifestyle lessens the risk of pretty much all diseases, this can greatly boost your health.
- Stress Reduction – Further research done by the University of California shows that people who are more grateful deal with daily problems better, which leads to less stress. Stress has been known to cause as much as 90% of our health problems (although that might be a trifle of an exaggeration, this is claimed by certain sources), including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, if you reduce your stress you know that it will have a massively positive impact on your health.
- Immune Booster – Grateful people appear to be more optimistic and a study done by the University of Utah proved that optimism leads to a better immune system. When measuring the number of blood cells that protect the immune system those that were more optimistic had a higher level. The test was done on healthy students that were under stress. Another study showed that those suffering AIDS, or just about to undergo surgery also had a better outcome when optimistic.
Overall it seems to prove that gratefulness, apart from making you feel nice and comfy inside, also has some great health benefits and we all want to be healthy, don’t we (not to mention feel good!), so what can you do today to experience more gratitude? Some people suggest that you simply take a moment each day to be grateful – from knowing you have a toothbrush, to the sheets in your bed – there are many things to be grateful for. Other people suggest you write down some things every night before you fall asleep – maybe because we tend to dream about the things we think about last? Reframe negative situations – instead of moaning about a problem, be grateful for what it is teaching you, even if you acknowledge that at the time being, it doesn’t feel great. Last, but not least – listen to your own self talk. Do you praise yourself a lot? Do you talk about the lovely wonders around you? Otherwise, maybe now’s a good time to start!
If you want to improve your relationships you can also every day write down and share what you are grateful for in the other person. Often people respond to gratefulness by being thankful for it being shown and the relationship improves. And surely, great relationships are good for your health also!
So, pick one of the techniques above and add gratitude to your daily routine; consider it your “Vitamin G”!