Science has proven it: gratitude is good for you.*
One recent study from the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine found that people who were more grateful actually had better heart health; specifically less inflammation and healthier heart rhythms. Studies also show that gratitude leads to a healthier immune system; that’s a big plus in this cold-and-flu time of year.
Stress hormones measure lower in people who keep a gratitude journal, and studies show those who do so also tend to eat much less fat than their non-gratitude-journaling counterparts. Holiday eating is right around the corner; what better timing to start a gratitude journal?
Further benefits of gratitude include: better sleep; less aggression/anger; improved self esteem; and improved ability to overcome trauma. That’s some seriously good stuff, y’all.
I know the benefits of gratitude from personal experience; several years ago I set out to write down 1,000 things I’m thankful for, and my self-imposed rule said I couldn’t list the same thing more than once. For accountability, I even blogged about it — and then kept on counting past one-thousand.
As Thanksgiving approaches, this is the perfect time of year to start a healthy happy habit. Pick up a regular ol’ spiral notebook, make a list on your phone, or treat yourself to a pretty new journal, and try to list 3 different “thankfuls” each day. A little resistant to sit down and do this? Try the fun OK Fine I’m Grateful journal!