Science has proven it: gratitude is good for you.*
It’s not surprising that being thankful can do big things for your attitude toward life, but did you know it’s good for your physical health, too? 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, thankful folks had less inflammation and healthier heart rhythms. Studies even show that gratitude leads to a healthier immune system!
MORE benefits of gratitude journaling:
Stress hormones measure lower in people who keep a gratitude journal, and studies show those who do so also tend to eat less fat than their non-gratitude-journaling counterparts. These journalers weren’t recording their eating, but being mindful in some ways seems to have translated to being mindful of their eating as well.
Still not convinced?
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.
Start a healthy happy habit.
Keep it simple or go fancy: Pick up a regular ol’ spiral notebook; make a list on your phone; treat yourself to a pretty new journal — or try this fun OK Fine I’m Grateful journal. Then aim to list 3 different “thankfuls” each day. Three doesn’t seem like much, but it’s doable, and you’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll add up. You can do this!