The number one reason to practice gratitude this holiday season
Cultivating gratitude is something we should practice year round and Thanksgiving is the perfect reminder. According to the teachings of Ayurveda, gratitude is not only essential for our well-being, it actually endows us with superpowers. Don’t just save it for Thanksgiving dinner; practice gratitude daily for greater mental health.
As a society the link between chronic stress and its impact on overall health are becoming more commonly understood but is the next layer linking a positive or negative mindset to bodily wear and tear, contributing to the breakdown of immunity making a person more susceptible to disease?
Gratitude and the happiness connection
Taking the time to shift to a positive mentality may feel like something too inconsequential to move the needle but research supports that actively feeding a positive mindset is worth paying attention to. Harvard Medical School reports that practicing gratitude and positivity is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships (HMS, 2011).
Physical health and longevity
Another study looked into the link between longevity, tying together a patient’s identity as an optimist or pessimist and if it was an indicator for early death. Patients were categorized by medical researchers as optimistic, mixed or pessimistic. The study found that with every 10 point increase in a person’s score on their optimism scale, the risk of early death decreased by 19% (Maruta, Colligan, Malinchoc, and Offord, 2000).
There are a lot of roadblocks when navigating the road to wellness. It’s amazing to think that by focusing on the positive and taking a few moments to be grateful for the good, even in its simplest form, can help guide you on that path.
Interested in learning more? Be sure to follow this series as we continue to uncover the depth behind the research of gratitude and happiness.
Maruta, Colligan, Malinchoc, and Offord.2000. Optimists vs Pessimists: Survival Rate Among Medical Patients Over a 30-Year Period.
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