Thanksgiving is typically the one time of the year when we make an effort to reflect about what we’re grateful for. But by adopting an “attitude of gratitude” beyond the holiday season, you can enjoy many lasting health benefits. If you take some time each day to jot down the reasons you’re grateful, you could see some pretty powerful results:

 

1. A Positive Charge
In a series of experiments detailed in a 2003 study in
the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology the act of listing three to five things you’re thankful for every day in a gratitude journal improves your outlook.

 

2. Better Sleep
Researchers also found that updating your gratitude journal
at bedtime also helps you worry less, which in turn helps you get to sleep faster.

 

3. A Big, Big Love

Journaling or expressing the ways you feel grateful for a loved is also linked to partners feeling more connected and satisfied in their relationships.

 

4. Boosts the Immune System
The
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study also linked journaling gratitude to better health. Gratitude breeds optimism and participants in the study exercised more regularly, decreasing their cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, linked to our ability to fight off colds.

If keeping a physical journal seems too difficult, try finding a free diary app for your smartphone. Or, start small and find little ways to celebrate the things that made your day great. What are you grateful for today?

 

Sources:
Greater Good
Telegraph
New York Times

 

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This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 

 

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