“Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret and depression, which can destroy our happiness.” — Robert Emmons

It’s no new discovery that an ounce of gratitude is worth a pound of cure.

Gratitude has been known to:

Lower blood pressure

Improve immune function

Facilitate more efficient sleep

Reduce lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders

Be a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide

Practicing gratitude also has a major effect on one’s healthy behavior.  We know that gratitude works!  Let me tell you, it works because it encourages people to celebrate the present and be an active participant in their own lives.

Do you regularly practice gratitude?  Are you an active participant in your own life?  Or do you find that life is happening to you?

How often do you really take time to reflect and think about all you have in life, your friends, your family, your health, and the fact that you have your own power and ability to learn and grow no matter how old you are? And thank the universe for it?

Life is such a gift!!!

Here is the thing; a person’s mindset also affects the body’s biochemistry, especially factors related to heart disease.  When you practice gratitude you can have higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL), lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, a heart that indicates less stress and more mental clarity, and even lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of cardiac inflammation and heart disease.

Can you believe that something we do with our mind can have such an impact on our bodily health?  You aren’t just going to feel good when you are practicing gratitude, your body is going to actually BE healthy.  I know this is awkward right now, an MD telling me that the way in which I think impacts my physical health.  Shouldn’t I be pushing pills or surgery or some other type of invasive cure?  Let’s get one thing straight.  I practice medicine to help others in all the ways that impact your overall health, and sister, that includes your big ole beautiful mind.  So how do practice gratitude?

Well, a successful gratitude practice starts with recognizing what you’re grateful for, acknowledging it and appreciating it. Establishing a daily journaling practice to remember gifts, grace, benefits, and things enjoyed is a sure way to insert gratitude into one’s life.  This can seem like just another thing to add to your to-do list but I implore you to take a different approach.  To help you navigate how to practice gratitude without it seeming like a chore I am inviting you to our Grit and Gratitude Gals month-long online event.  Stay tuned and I will get you the special invite to our exclusive group!