It’s the right time of year when many people begin thinking about everything they must be thankful for. Although it’s nice to count your blessings towards the year end, being thankful throughout the year could have marvellous benefits on your well- being and most importantly the well-being of your heart!
Research says so…….
Gratitude, thankfulness or gratefulness is a feeling of appreciation. Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the little things that happen in your life and taking the time to express appreciation. It’s more than just saying ‘thank you’ as it can lead to a stronger sense of well-being.
Gratitude can be the right attitude to heal your heart!
Studies over the past few years have shown the power of gratitude and appreciation to benefit heart health. These studies show that, the more grateful people are, the healthier they tend to be.
In the study, published by the American Psychological Association, researchers looked at people who had asymptomatic (Stage B) heart failure to see how their sense of thankfulness and gratitude affected their overall heart health. Asymptomatic or Stage B consists mainly of patients who have had heart attack that damaged the heart, but do not show overt symptoms of heart failure, including shortness of breath or excessive fatigue.
Some patients were specifically asked to write down three things they were grateful for each day. After two months of this practice, the researchers focused on psychological health and found that patients who expressed higher levels of gratitude had less depression, less anxiety and slept better. These patients were found to have reduced inflammation, improved heart rhythm, and an overall lower risk for heart disease.
There are many ways you can cultivate gratitude!
The simple act of writing down what you’re grateful for can increase thankfulness in you.
Other practice to consciously nurture gratitude include behavioural expressions of gratitude such as writing ‘thank you’ notes.
Praying and counting blessings, more often has also been found to help people to be more grateful.
A grateful heart can take note of everything positive around you and help you to embrace life as it is, with all its imperfections.
The fact that, each day when you wake up in the morning, your heart beats without any conscious effort, can reason enough for you to be grateful!!