• BodyWHealth: Unlocking the Best Possible You

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude 1024 682 BodyWHealth

Do you want 10 minutes of happiness (and health)? Sit quietly with a pen and paper and write down all the ways you can say “Thank You”. Remember how people have thanked you, and how you have thanked them. Remember everything about the experience – the sight, sound, touch, smell and (if appropriate) the taste. I guarantee you very happy memories, and a profoundly uplifting experience.

Gratitude is the outward expression of a deeply powerful inner emotion, appreciation. This profoundly positive state generates a physiological and psychic environment in which we thrive both physically and emotionally. This is BodyWHealth!

Gratitude, and a state of thankfulness have been shown to impact our health in very real ways. Studies have shown that gratitude can reduce blood pressure and increase the presence of beneficial immune cells and chemicals. It is easy to imagine how a sustained state of appreciation would have long-term benefits on our cardiovascular health, as well as equipping us to better ward of cancer and infection. These studies are hard to conduct, but researchers are actively exploring these important questions today. Certainly, the link with long-term emotional health is convincing, and happiness has a strong impact on both immune health and longevity.

We know that many of the associated phenomena that accompany appreciation, like love and empathy, smiling and laughter all have proven health benefits. Reaching out to others is equally powerful; both in the physical sense where touch is a powerful stimulant of health, and in the virtual sense where generosity and kindness benefit the giver directly.

When we express our appreciation towards others by showing gratitude, we complete a virtuous loop. By strengthening any stage in the loop, social scientists believe that we can reinforce the overall impact of the cycle. When we express gratitude, we invoke our cognitive brain in an almost automated fashion, bringing happiness and reward into our own lives, elevating our mood and spirits. In turn, we say “thanks” more often and more meaningfully. In addition to the good we do in the world, the personal payback is immense. We also know that posture has a direct benefit on mood and happiness. You express gratitude, then feel good, then stand tall, then feel better, then express more gratitude ….. and so on, towards health and happiness (BodyWHealth!).

Say thank you, often. Find new ways to express your gratitude, and keep a gratitude diary. This is a powerful tool to drive both emotional and physical WHealth!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for reading this blog and for acting on it!

Have fun,