Dr Jacqui Fleury, ND of True Potential Health Clinic appears in another Healthy Living segment on Global TV in Saskatoon.
Is Gratitude good for your health? Well, it turns out that being grateful can not only make you feel happier, it can also have some positive physical benefits as well. Studies have shown that grateful people experience fewer headaches, digestive problems, respiratory infections, and sleep issues.
One of the first questions to ask when looking at the connection between health and gratitude is this – are grateful people healthier or are healthier people more grateful….
As it relates to physical health benefits from gratitude, four particular areas of health have been studied:
Sleep – One study indicated that a mere 2 weeks of daily gratitude practice showed improvements in sleep quality along with decreases in diastolic blood pressure. It seems those who practice gratitude sleep longer and wake more rested.
Heart Health – A study of 70 patients experiencing stage B heart failure had the participants writing about things they were grateful for over a period of 8 weeks, and they detected decreased markers of inflammation in their blood as well as increased heart rate variability, which both point towards a reduced risk of heart failure.
Inflammation -In the same study of patients dealing with stage B heart failure, patients who did daily gratitude journaling for eight weeks showed decreased markers of inflammation.
Intimacy/Healthy sex life – it seems that when we write about what we’re grateful for in our relationship, we’re naturally more enthusiastic about doing all the things that keep it healthy and strong when it comes to intimacy.
It also seems that practicing gratitude can buffer the effects of stress as it helps increase the overall feeling of happiness and wellbeing. And happy people are more likely to engage in other healthy activities so this is a win-win situation.
Perhaps we should be counting blessings instead of counting sheep?
Watch the Global Morning segment
Dispositional Gratitude Moderates the Association between Socioeconomic Status and Interleukin-6
The impact of a brief gratitude intervention on subjective well-being, biology and sleep
The Role of Gratitude in Spiritual Well-Being in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients