There have been some recent studies that indicate a correlation between gratitude and good health. We focus a lot of concentration on nourishing our bodies. Think how much healthier we would all be if we took time for our souls too? What would happen if we extended the tradition of giving thanks, typically celebrated just once a year, throughout the entire year?
At Radiance we want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude all year long
According to the Center for Disease Control, up to 90% of all illnesses may be stress-related. Researches who study gratitude find that it is strongly and consistently associated with better health and greater happiness. When we express appreciation for what we receive (whether tangible or not) we acknowledge goodness in our lives. In acknowledging that goodness we reach out to others. We also make ourselves more available to the beauty of the natural world around us and to a higher power.
A specific health benefit of feeling and expressing gratitude is that we are often infused with optimism. When we are optimistic, we can view the future in a good light. We can see the end of the tunnel. A study by Robert A. Emmons at University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, instructed a group of people to keep a gratitude journal once a week, listing five things they were grateful for. Compared with a control group, after two months the journal keepers were more optimistic and felt happier. They slept better, reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out. In addition, their attitudes of gratitude were paid forward to those around them.
Another study at the University College in London revealed that elderly people who were happy with their lives lived up to 20- 35% longer than their not-so-happy neighbors. Researchers at the University of Utah studying first year law students reported a link between optimism and immune function, claiming the optimistic group maintained a higher blood cell count protecting the immune system, compared with the more pessimistic group. In separate studies, patients confronting AIDS, as well as those preparing to undergo surgery, had better health outcomes when they maintained optimistic attitudes. There is just too much evidence to ignore.
Time for a gratitude adjustment!
We don’t necessarily have to keep a journal. We can cultivate gratitude in many ways. Say thank you. Remember writing thank-you notes? More than good manners, a thank you in any form helps to nurture relationships and leaves both parties feeling good. Compliment people around you. You will be surprised how good you feel when you make someone else’s day. Get out of your box. If you spend all day in front of a computer, don’t spend all night in front of the television. Get outside! Pay attention to nature. Fresh air and sunshine or a walk in the moonlight can offer you much to be grateful for. Prayer or meditation allows you to focus on something other than yourself, bringing forth your gratitude attitude. And remember, practice makes perfect!
Even in situations that seem untenable, try to re-shape your problems into challenges and look for ways to be thankful for them. When an elderly parent is dying, focus on how lucky you were to have that person in your life. When your husband is on your last nerve, stop and think about how grateful you are that you have him. When the kids are rambunctious, be grateful you have energetic children who are healthy enough to tumble around and drive you crazy. Researchers at the University of Connecticut studying heart attack patients found that those who were able to see benefits from their heart attack, such as becoming more appreciative of life, experienced a lower risk of having another heart attack.
We at Radiance are truly grateful for your business, your friendship, and your loyalty. We hope you experience this appreciation every time you walk in our doors, this month and every month.
Happy Thanksgiving from Radiance, your beauty and wellness destination.