Being Grateful Has Physical Benefits

woman writing down what makes her grateful

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re full of gratitude this month. But did you know that being grateful has mental and physical health benefits?

Thinking of things we’re grateful for can improve cardiovascular health, improve sleep quality, and decrease stress, inflammation, and pain. Studies have even shown it can lower blood pressure, improve skin, and decrease head and stomach aches.

How does all of this happen? Grateful people are more likely to care about their health and tend to make healthier choices. Giving thanks also lowers stress, which has significant effects on both physical and mental health.

So how can you be more grateful?

One common way is to do an exercise called Three Great Things. This means writing down three good things that happened to you each day, as well as reflecting on why each of them happened.

Another method is to practice listing five things you appreciate about yourself each day. You can also express your thankfulness to family members on a nightly basis. Having someone to share the practice with can make you more likely to stick with it. With the holidays coming up, writing thank you notes can also help you share your gratitude. You can write to thank people for things other than gifts – being a good friend or a supportive mentor.

No matter how you choose to express it, try to be grateful this season. Your body will thank you!