Can feeling gratitude influence your health? According to a number of studies, the answer is yes. According to Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, an expert in brain and mind health:
“If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
While the American once-a-year gratitude ritual of Thanksgiving is better than nothing, if you’re serious about your well being, you’d be wise to increase the frequency at which you feel and express gratitude.
People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and less anxiety, sleep better and have better heart health. Studies have also shown that gratitude can produce measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, including:
- Mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine)
- Inflammatory and immune systems (cytokines)
- Reproductive hormones (testosterone)
- Stress hormones (cortisol)
- Social bonding hormones (oxytocin)
- Blood pressure and cardiac and EEG rhythms
- Cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters (dopamine)
- Blood sugar
Stay tuned to find out what gratitude actually is!