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How Gratitude Affects the Human Body

HOW Gratitude AFFECTS THE HUMAN BODY Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can do more than make you a happier person. It can make you healthier, too. Studies point to a wide variety of medical benefits to maintaining a positive outlook on life. Querall Benefits HEALTHIER HEART CALM DOWN Cultivating gratitude and other positive emotions can reduce stress hormones like Recalling feelings of appreciationĀ³ and listing things to be grateful for can protect the heart by decreasing blood pressure and lowering heart rate variability. cortisol by as much as 23%.! A study of 400 people, 40% of whom had sleep disorders, shows making nightly lists of things one is grateful for can also improve the duration and quality of sleep.? BREATHE EASIER SLIM DOWN In addition to making other healthy choices, grateful individuals avoid smoking tobacco, thus avoiding a hard-to-kick habit that harms In a study involving 192 undergraduate students, grateful participants were shown to spend an average lung function and lowers life expectancy.5 of 36% more time exercising per week and to take better care of health overall.7 STRONGER IMMUNITY Gratitude is linked with optimism, which can improve the body's immune response in certain situations, resulting in an increase in white blood cells needed to fight disease.6 Psychological Benefits Lowers risk of Reduces toxic major depression. negative emotions such as envy, resentment, and regret. Linked to empathy and lower aggression, even when faced with negative experiences.10 Can help overcome trauma and improve mental resilience, Improves self-esteem. even during hard times.1 SOURCES 1 Mccraty, Rollin, Bob Barrios-Choplin, Deborah Rozman, Mike Atkinson, and Alan D. Watkins. 'The Impact of a New Emotional Self-management Program on Stress, Emotions, Heart Rate Variability, DHEA and Cortisol." Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science: 151-70. 2 Digdon, Nancy, and Amy Koble. "Effects of Constructive Worry, Imagery Distraction, and Gratitude Interventions on Sleep Quality: A Pilot Trial.' Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being: 193-206. 3 McCraty, R. "The Effects Of Emotions On Short-term Power Spectrum Analysis Of Heart Rate Variability." The American Journal of Cardiology: 1089-093. 4 Shipon, Randolph Wolf. 'Gratitude: Effect on Perspectives and Blood Pressure of Inner-city African-American Hypertensive Patients." Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering 68 (2007). 5 Grant, Nina, Jane Wardle, and Andrew Steptoe. 'The Relationship Between Life Satisfaction and Health Behavior: A Cross-cultural Analysis of Young Adults." International Journal of Behavioral Medicine: 259-68. 6 Segerstrom, S.C. 'Optimism, Goal Conflict, and Stressor-related Immune Change." Journal of Behavioral Medicine 24.5 (2001): 441-64. 7 Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. Mccullough. "Counting Blessings versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-being in Daily Life." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 377-89. 8 McCullough, Michael E., Robert A. Emmons, and Jo-Ann Tsang. 'The Grateful Disposition: A Conceptual And Empirical Topography." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 112-27. 9 Wood, Alex M., Jeffrey J. Froh, and Adam W.A. Geraghty. "Gratitude And Well-being: A Review And Theoretical Integration." Clinical Psychology Review: 890-905. 10 Dewall, C. N., N. M. Lambert, R. S. Pond, T. B. Kashdan, and F. D. Fincham. 'A Grateful Heart Is a Nonviolent Heart: Cross-Sectional, Experience Sampling, Longitudinal, and Experimental Evidence.' Social Psychological and Personality Science (2012): 232-40. 11 Hill, Patrick L., Mathias Allemand, and Brent W. Roberts. "Examining the Pathways between Gratitude and Self-rated Physical Health across Adulthood." Personality and Individual Differences: 92-96. visually THE HUFFINGTON POST AMERICAN GREETINGS

How Gratitude Affects the Human Body

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Thank you." These two little words may not seem exceptional on their own, but they can have an enormous impact on your mental and physical well-being. According to a number of studies, gratitude can a...

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The Huffington Post

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lpmcgill

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Health
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