Blooming Boomers

November 12, 2014

“THANKSGIVING CAN MAKE YOU HEALTHY” AND A CHALLENGE

Filed under: Uncategorized — sakaco @ 5:33 pm

What? Eat your Thanksgiving dinner and feel better? Because that’s not what usually happens to me! OK, That’s not where I’m going with this. Read on…

There is now scientific research that demonstrates that gratitude produces health benefits. This research is described in the book, “Thanks! : How The New Science Of Gratitude Can Make You Happier” by Robert Emmons.  Emmons and his colleagues at the University of California are studying health promoting behaviors.

IMG_3987This book reports on several studies. In one study, participants were divided into three groups, each making entries into weekly journals. One group wrote down 5 things they were grateful for. The second group described 5 daily hassles. And the “control group” listed 5 things that had affected them in some way. The research results were that those in the “gratitude group” felt better about their lives in general, they were more optimistic about the future, and they reported fewer health problems than all the other participants.

I can see how the gratitude group might feel more optimistic and more upbeat about their lives in general while they are writing down and focusing on things for which they are grateful. But the fact that they reported fewer health problems is very interesting, indeed. How can that be? How can there be a connection between what they are thankful for ( their thoughts ) and their health? On the surface it might seem strange. But there is more and more evidence proving that there is a direct connection between our minds ( thoughts ) and our bodies! And the mind-body connection is one of the things that we here on Blooming Boomers explore often! But more of that later…

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Today, because it is getting closer to Thanksgiving, I’d like to encourage you to start writing down the things for which you are grateful. Every day! Because not only will you feel more emotionally better, but it will affect your physical health in a positive way as well!

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But don’t just believe it because these studies show it. Try your own experiment. Rate your emotional and physical health on a scale of 1-10. Then begin focusing on, writing down, and being more mindful of that for which you are grateful. After 21 days, rate your emotional and physical health on the same scale. Do you notice a difference? If you decide to take the challenge,  let me know and report back your findings after 21 days.

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