Being thankful is healthy for the body and mind for a good number of reasons. Making gratitude a part of your daily life is a must to walk in wellness. Research provides continued evidence of various health benefits gained.
Teenagers Increase in Mental Health
Teens who are more appreciative do better behaviorally in school and within relationships. Less behavior challenges were noted with teens who had a better viewpoint on life as compared to their peers. A study conducted by the American Psych. Assoc. recently confirmed these findings.
Being Mindful Improves Grades
High school students who are more thankful in life hold higher grade point averages. They also have better integration socially with increased satisfaction in life. A number of years ago, the Journal of Happiness Studies also found high school students who are more thankful were less likely to have issues with depression.
Boosting Team Morale
Sports teams with a positive and thankful outlook increases team morale. A case study published in the Journal of Social Indicators of high school students found evidence athletes gained higher satisfaction in life when more team members were consistently thankful. The sports players were also less likely to “burn out” during extensive training sessions and game time play.
Gratefulness Boosts Overall Well Being
Research also suggests individuals who are more grateful have better well-being than those who do not. A specific case study by the Journal of Personality & Social Psych. (2003) created a set of ongoing experiments which were related to daily practices for exercising and using checklists for thankful thinking. The study found those who focused on their blessings daily held a much better view of life.
The case study researchers also studied a group focusing on the hassles of the day and the complaints of life. When comparing the outcomes for the two groups side by side, there was a significant variation in the results. The thankful group held a much better sense of well-being.
Individuals who hold a more positive perspective on life through being grateful have more improved friendships. The same case study above in 2003 provided evidence of these individuals being more willing to help others in need and provide support. This in turn shows people who are more positive tend to reach out to others more readily. They are more open to giving emotional support when needed.
Journal Time & Improved Sleep
Researchers during a study published in the Journal of Applied Psych. (Health & Well Being)/Psych. Today – found individuals who take fifteen minutes of time prior to going to sleep to journal “positives” were able to sleep better. The focus of this time in writing was upon true thankfulness. These participants were also able to fall asleep much faster as compared to their counter parts.
Thankfulness holds a natural ability to strengthen relationships. Studies have shown this to be true as well. In marriages, partners who are more grateful for the smaller things hold stronger relationships with each other. Writing about the positives of the marriage partner increased the strength of the relationship on a further note.
Being Grateful is Wonderful for the Heart
Being thankful also holds benefits for heart health. One study posted in the Amer. Journal of Cardiology provides strong evidence that positive, grateful feelings are linked to heart rate changes. This is beneficial medically in the therapeutic treatment of high blood pressure. It is also helpful in treating patients fighting congestive heart issues and artery disease.
Improved Immune System Response
Being mindful of giving thanks on a regular basis provides improved immune system responses. The more an individual is thankful, the better the immune system response. One study at the Univ. of Utah followed law students during their rigorous and stressful program requirements. The students who were more thankful through their studies held more immune boosting blood cells as compared to those who were not thankful.
Protection from Negative Impact
Another wonderful benefit of holding a thankful attitude on life consistently is the provision of protection. Individuals who are more thankful in life respond and recover more quickly when negative impacts (death in family, loss of job, etc.) occur. WebMd agrees these individuals have less stress levels as compared to those who are not thankful.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).