During the upcoming holidays, classrooms across the nation will be encouraging kids to make lists of things they are thankful for. What a great idea! This is actually something Dr. Schulte recommends throughout the year to people of all ages.
Why show gratitude beyond Thanksgiving?
Research is finding more and more that an attitude of gratitude is directly correlated to well-being and good sleep along with lack of depression and disease.
One study done over a 21-day period examined individuals who either wrote in a journal about hassles, things they were thankful for, or neutral events. Those who recorded gratitude also exercised more routinely, had fewer physical symptoms, and had a more optimistic outlook on life than the groups who recorded differently in their journals.
A similar study found that the group who recorded what they were thankful for had higher-energy, positive moods, better relationships, and also experienced higher sleep quality.
How being grateful improves your health
Beyond that, gratitude has been linked to greater resiliency during crisis and tragedy. Individuals with positive emotions, such as love and gratitude, were less likely to suffer depression. Also, these people were better able to cope and grow than those who lacked empathetic characteristics.
Many people understand that high stress levels lead to ill health.
The good news is, research is finding positive emotions can decrease the stress hormones cortisol and nor-epinephrine. So, gratitude and optimism may help protect against coronary artery disease.
Here are 10 ways to add gratitude into your daily living:
- Keep a journal.
- Record 5 things daily that you are thankful for.
- Place your list of gratitude in a place you frequently use to be reminded of what makes you happy.
- Start slowly if needed. Be genuine, avoid making a large list if you feel you are forcing the expression.
- Share your list with family members.
- Tell one person each day “I am so grateful for your…”
- Watch for people doing good things and congratulate them on it.
- Send ‘thank you’ notes to friends or family to check in and thank them for being in your life.
- Volunteer your time and reflect on what you have to be thankful for.
- Think about walking a mile in someones shoes before judging them. Appreciate their contributions even if they differ from yours.
Dr. Schulte, Marcie, and Becky are grateful for our patients. You all make our lives interesting and exciting. Join in the Thanksgiving fun this year by bringing in food and monetary donations for the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Also, send your friends and family in for a new a patient exam for only a $30 donation which will also go the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Raffle prizes will be given to participants. Don’t delay, November will be over before we know it! Call us if you have any questions.