Healthy Living

Being Thankful Does This To Your Body

Thank You
Participants were concerned they might make recipients feel awkward or have their gesture misinterpreted, which may explain why many of us shy away from expressing gratitude. Morvanic Lee/Unsplash

Be more thankful, and your body will thank you for it, literally.

This is because according to a new research, focusing on gratitude can help eliminate a lot of stress, illness and unhappiness in the world, which would then result a better well-being, be it emotionally, physically, or even mentally.

Give Thanks

According to new studies, gratitude is uniquely important in our general and psychological well-being because it’s been found to correlate with “positive affect, global and domain specific life satisfaction, optimism, social support and prosocial behavior.” In fact, it’s been previously suggested that gratitude practice and cultivation can be easily used as a psychotherapeutic intervention with positive effects.

And it’s easy to see why since research shows that focusing on gratitude alter your brain in a number of ways, which include triggering the releases of mood-regulating neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and norepinephrine, that inhibits our stress hormones and stimulates our hypothalamus.

As such, doing so can help improve your emotional resiliency, reduce symptoms of depression, reduce pain, increase happiness and life satisfaction, lower stress and emotional distress, improve your immune function, lower your blood pressure, lower your inflammation by stopping cytokines that cause them and improve your interpersonal relationships. Other possible benefits include improving your heart health, lowering risk of heart disease, boosting productivity, improving sleep, lowering blood sugar, improving outlook in life and increasing your generosity.

"It's one of the practices that really wins out from the field of positive psychology, because it takes very little time, and the benefits are so powerful," Laurie Santos, a psychologist who teaches the science of happiness at Yale, said.

Practicing Gratitude

Per happiness experts, one good way to practice gratitude is to write down a list of the things that you find meaning in and are thankful for, in order to remind you of them everyday. Quietly contemplating what you’re grateful for – be it in the past, present or future – is also a great strategy.

Changing your perspective on things, being mindful of your actions, meditating and embracing the idea that what you have is enough should also help you on your path.

Thank You Participants were concerned they might make recipients feel awkward or have their gesture misinterpreted, which may explain why many of us shy away from expressing gratitude. Morvanic Lee/Unsplash

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