Thanksgiving may be one day a year on the calendar, but giving thanks may be one of the more powerful things you can do for your health year-round. Let’s explore how gratitude can improve health.
Studies show that a regular gratitude practice enhances your overall wellbeing, physically and mentally. These include reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, less pain, and better sleep. It’s like going to the gym. The more you work out your gratitude muscles, the more your brain changes. Thankfulness also releases the bonding hormone oxytocin, which lowers stress and triggers a cascade of feel-good hormones.
The things for which you are grateful don’t have to be big, like a new job or relationship. They can be as simple as the aroma of your first cup of coffee. The tingling of water on your skin as you take a shower. The sun peeking through the clouds, or the birds singing outside your window.
Make Gratitude a Daily Practice
To take full advantage of the health benefits of gratitude, make it part of your daily routine. Send a “thank you” to people who don’t expect it. Keep a gratitude journal. Give someone an unexpected compliment. Or how about sending random texts and emails of appreciation? One powerful practice to do with your children and family is saying three things for which you’re grateful every day.
One of the things for which I am personally grateful for is you and this beautiful community we are building. Together, we can help reduce stress and pain to make the world a better place. For this, I am so grateful. Make gratitude not just about one day a year—like Thanksgiving— but about the privilege of being alive and appreciating our blessings.
With love and gratitude,
PS: I have included a FREE gratitude meditation to enjoy! See below.
Vicki Atlas Israel is an Author, Speaker, Training Consultant, and Meditation Mindset Coach. #1 NYTimes Bestselling Author Jack Canfield, co-creator of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” wrote the Foreword to Vicki’s book, “Inner Power NOW.” Vicki is passionate about helping high-achieving professionals, parents and children to stress less and add more joy.