Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Research Suggests Gratitude Helps Health

I have intuitively known for most of my life that feeling better about anything starts with feeling good about myself.

Feeling good translates into being able to see the best of whatever is in front of you. It involves a positive outlook; but not the Pollyanna attitude you might think. Facing difficulties as they are and focusing on what they can become is what I am suggesting.

According to David B. Feldman, PhD, assistant professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University in California., three components are essential for hope to thrive, Feldman says. They are having goals, as well as a plan and the motivation to achieve them. Read more here: Overcoming Barriers to Happiness

Being mindful of things you are grateful for is a habit worth developing. New research  supports historical claims that gratitude benefits health. According to University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, people who treat gratitude as a virtue instead of a temporary frame of mind, take better and more consistent care of themselves and their health habits.


In the article, "Boost Your Health With A Dose of Gratitude"  researchers say that gratitude is also a stress buster. A daily practice of gratitude helps us manage stress better. Less stress results in fewer serious illnesses and diseases.

Embracing gratitude as a core value helps boost the immune system as well. In a study of first year law students self described as optimistic, there was an increase in the levels of blood cells which protect the immune system over a similar group of students self described as pessimistic.

 Lisa Aspinwall, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Utah found that
"There tends to be higher levels of optimism among people who have faced losses early in life, suggesting that adversity can promote personal growth over time." This indicates that we have control over the level of optimism we experience in our lives.

Practicing gratitude on a more consistent basis, that is, making gratitude a core part of how we approach life, will promote more optimism within ourselves. The more often we seek things to be thankful for, the more of our lives are focused on feelings of gratitude. What we focus on is what we get. It is universal law!

**Leave a comment and I will show my gratitude.