HOWGRATITUDE CAN IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH THE EXTRA BENEFITS OF BEING THANKFUL
more meaningful relationships. Healthy relationships, in turn, can have many positive effects on physical health. People in healthier social relationships have been shown to heal more quickly, have lower blood pressure, and feel less anxious, among other things. Additionally, if you’re in a romantic relationship with someone, expressing gratitude to one another can lead to greater trust in expressing concerns about the relationship. While expressing gratitude can be its own reward, it doesn’t hurt to know that being thankful can improve our physical health. This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for my health and the health of my family. I’m also thankful for the freedom my schedule allows me to spend time with my kids and be a part of their lives. This year was great for Campus Commons PT, most of which was made possible by our talented, dedicated staff and supportive clientele. Tiffany and I are grateful to all our PTs and all our patients who trust us to help improve your quality of life.
We all value gratitude and opportunities to be grateful for what we have. The fact that we have a major holiday at the end of this month all about giving thanks is testament to that. But did you know that practicing gratitude on a regular basis can also have positive effects on your physical health? Multiple studies in recent years have indicated a strong connection between gratitude and mental health, but an ever-growing body of research also indicates gratitude can benefit you physically. Remembering what you’re thankful for certainly isn’t a cure-all, but some researchers have found possible connections between gratitude and these key areas of health. BETTER SLEEP It doesn’t matter how good the coffee is in the morning — we need proper sleep if we want to be healthy. Getting the proper amount of sleep can protect you from developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and other health problems. However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, truly restful slumber eludes us. So, what can we do? Load up on melatonin and hope for the best? Hopefully not. Fortunately, evidence suggests that simple practices of gratitude, such as keeping a gratitude journal, can help people fall asleep more quickly, sleep
longer, and stay awake more easily during the day. While more exploration in this area of research is still needed, the preliminary findings show those z’s might just be a gratitude journal entry away. “WHILE EXPRESSING GRATITUDE CAN BE ITS OWN REWARD, IT DOESN’T HURT TO KNOW THAT BEING THANKFUL CAN IMPROVE OUR PHYSICAL HEALTH.” BETTER HEART HEALTH Our emotional heart certainly soars when we remember everything we have to be thankful for, but thankfulness might help our physical hearts as well. Multiple studies support the idea that practicing thankfulness can lead to improved heart rate variability and lower blood pressure. Also, evidence shows that people with heart problems who practice gratitude get better sleep, suffer less from depression and fatigue, and have more confidence in their abilities to take care of themselves. BETTER RELATIONSHIPS While this isn’t strictly a physical health benefit, practicing thankfulness can lead to deeper,
Thank you to all of you, and Happy Thanksgiving!
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