In preparation for the new year, we’ve been spending the past few weeks laying the nutritional groundwork for senior health, middle-aged health, and health for young families. Now that we’ve devoted some time to our physical fitness and wellness, we can now turn our mind’s eye to our mindset and the health benefits of gratitude. While 2020 brought a lot of stress, loss and grief for many of us, resetting our thoughts with gratitude can help us look back at the past 12 months with optimism, and step into the NEXT 12 months with hope.
The Benefits of Gratitude: How Our Mindset Impacts Our Health
“Gratitude improves physical health,” reports Psychology Today. The publication’s experts point to a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences that found that people who are grateful self-report a higher sense of being healthy, and lower rates of aches and pains.
“Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health,” adds the magazine. “They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.”
This may be in part because when we actively practice gratitude for our physical wellness and our immune system, we’re more motivated to protect the very thing we’re grateful for.
When we cherish our health, we’ll take more daily steps to guard our health and invest in our health, and this trickles out into our diet, our exercise routine, our supplement habits, etc.
But it isn’t just about the physical benefits of gratitude.
According to 2017 studies by researcher Chih-Che Lin, practicing gratitude also enhances our psychological health. Researchers have found that being thankful can help:
- Strengthen your self-esteem
- Reduce stress
- Make you feel happier
- Reduce the risks of depression, anxiety and other mood disorders
Finally, being grateful also brings the benefits of gratitude to secondary markers of health. Take sleep, for example. Many Americans struggle to get enough sleep, and that can negatively impact our immune system, our weight loss efforts, our mental health and our careers.
“Grateful people sleep better,” points out Psychology Today. “Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.”
The Benefits of Gratitude: How to Step Into the New Year With More Thankfulness
Despite the difficulties and chaos that the year 2020 brought to many of us, we can still reframe the year with thankfulness and experience more of the benefits of gratitude:
1. Write It Down
Journal your experiences, including the difficult times you might have had over the past few months. Simply writing it down can help you process your grief, sense of loss, stress, etc., making it easier to release these negative emotions and feel more gratitude.
2. Think About the Past
Think about one thing that upsets you about the past year. Then, look for just one tiny benefit, and express thankfulness for that. For example: “I lost my job due to the pandemic, but it created more free time for me to explore my passion for crafting!”
3. Cherish Your Body and Mind
Express gratitude to your body and your mind for getting you to today, no matter how hard it was to get here. “Thank you body, for helping me to walk through this journey,” you might say to yourself. “Thank you mind, for helping me to make the choices and decisions necessary to keep me and my loved ones healthy and safe.”
You could even express that gratitude even more by showing your body some immune system love with thymic proteins. These proteins help your immune system better respond to threats. BioProPlus-500 includes five bioidentical thymic proteins to help support your immunity, and you can put gratitude into practice by supporting the immune system that supported you throughout 2020.
4. Spread It
Share gratitude. By being thankful for others, you instill a deeper and more profound sense of gratitude for yourself. You could write a letter to a local community business that you saw making a difference in 2020, or express your thanks to first responders and nurses who put their lives on the front line during 2020.
By practicing gratitude, we’re more equipped to let 2020 go, reset our emotional energy, and step into the fresh, new year with a new outlook on life and our life experiences.
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