health benefits of gratitude

It’s the kind of research we love.

Research that shows our best remedies originate from something within us. We can be the source of healing for ourselves, assuming of course we are willing to try something different. So often one simple change does make a difference.

A recent study looked at the role of gratitude on our health and guess what? It’s good for you. Gratitude is connected to a positive mental attitude. Instead of holding resentment, jealousy and anger at our world, we take on a view of openness and thankfulness. This approach can help reduce stress and calm our minds. It brings us energy, rather than taking it away.

This particular study, led by Paul Mills PhD, looked at the health of 186 men and women with an average age of 66. Each individual in the study had some heart related issue as part of their medical history. They completed a questionnaire that explored the role of gratitude in their lives. Did they feel grateful of people, places and things in their lives. He found that those with higher levels of gratitude also had better overall health.

From there he followed with a portion of the group to track how this aspect of gratitude impacted their ongoing health issues. He found that those in the group that journaled regularly about things they were grateful for on a regular basis, showed a decrease in risks connected to their heart conditions. He saw a reduction in inflammation and improvement in heart rhythms.

Very interesting.

Obviously more research is needed to understand exactly what occurred, but there is something to explore. The power of appreciation and gratitude cannot be underestimated in our overall wellness. By expressing gratitude it means we are willing to receive generosity. We are willing to see something more than the negative.

Gratitude and the practice of generosity are core components of many spiritual and cultural traditions. They are something inherent in us. Our lives might push us away from them, due to trauma or hurts, but our natural state craves these better states. We are curious how this research develops and what else might soon reveal itself.

Check out the article from NPR by clicking HERE. For a link to the actual research article click HERE.

How has gratitude played a role in your life? Leave a comment and share your experience.

In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving.

To Your Health.

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