Gratitude is a Key Ingredient for Good Health

In Health, Well-being by Alicia S. Hyatte, MSW, LCSW, CIHC0 Comments

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(Last Updated On: March 18)

Every day is an opportunity to express gratitude. But Thanksgiving, especially, is a time to pause and feel grateful for everything you have in your life.

Gratitude is the cornerstone of health. When you can recognize and appreciate the simple things, it’s much easier to work towards healthy habits and even better health.

When you’re stressed about your imperfect health and beating yourself up about not being good enough, you send your body into a stressed state, causing you to release the hormone cortisol.

This makes you feel anxious and irritable, and it’s much more likely that you’ll order a large fries and chocolate milkshake instead of a nice, hearty, vegetable-centric dish. 

When you’re feeling relaxed and grateful for how far you’ve come on your health journey, you’re much more likely to make good choices.

So, what makes you feel grateful?

Answering this simple question can shift your mood in seconds. Feeling thankful for what you already have creates a positive ripple effect in your life, making it way less likely you’ll dwell on perceived shortcomings. 

It’s easy to take for granted a happy marriage, nurturing friendships, good health, or even the roof over your head, but these aspects of life sustain you every day. 

Taking a moment to acknowledge and appreciate what’s good in your life does wonders for your well-being.

In fact, studies have shown that a regular gratitude practice can improve your happiness by as much as 25 percent, and keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks can result in better sleep and more energy. Happiness leads to healthiness, since the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin support all bodily functions, including digestion.

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You can start your own gratitude practice with something as simple as saying an affirmation each day. 

Try this simple one: I’m grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones.

What will you do to express your gratitude? If you already have a practice, what’s your favorite way to say “thank you”?

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