How often do you say thank you?Thank you to your partner, your children, a shopkeeper or yourself. A recent study published by the American Psychological Association found that keeping a gratitude journal lead to improved cardiac health, improved mood and better sleep. The study consisted of 186 men and women who kept a gratitude journal for eight weeks as they received regular clinical care. "It seems that a more grateful heart is indeed a more healthy heart, and that gratitude journaling is an easy way to support cardiac health," wrote lead author Paul J. Mills, Ph.D., professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego.
Study confirms Gratitude winsThis isn't the first time researchers have discovered a positive association between thankfulness and an improved heart. A 1995 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that positive emotions and appreciation are linked with changes in heart rate variability. The new APA findings also saw heart rate variability changes in the patients who had a thankful outlook. The study results add to a growing list of reasons to express gratitude. Here are 10 reasons to show thankfulness:
- It’s good for teens' mental health
- It boosts wellbeing
- It’s linked to better grades
- It makes you a better friend to others
- It helps you sleep better
- It can strengthen your relationship
- It benefits the heart
- It’s good for team morale
- It’s been linked with a better immune system
- It protects you from negative emotions that come with extreme loss.
What are you grateful for?The wonderful thing is that it doesn’t cost you anything to be grateful. You can start now and do it every day. Here are a couple of ideas to get you going:
- By waking up in the morning and saying “I am grateful for ….”
- Starting a gratitude journal
- Taking a moment to connect with your partner, your child or friend and looking them in the eye and saying THANK YOU!