Practicing Gratitude May Improve Health!

By Mary O'Hara |

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we express gratitude for all the good things in our lives. But did you know that there is scientific proof that maintaining an attitude of gratitude all year long can be beneficial to your health?

According to the Mayo Clinic Health Systemexpressing thanks may improve physical and mental health. The benefits of expressing gratitude may contribute to better sleep, mood, and immunity. Having a grateful attitude may also decrease depression, pain, and risk of disease.

Another study looked at how gratitude can improve relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner felt more positive toward the other person and more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.

Appreciation of Others

We all experience stress in the workplace. Busy case managers and caregivers certainly have their share of work-related stress. People who spend a reasonable amount of time caring for others may often neglect their well-being and need to learn ways to enhance their sense of self.

Remembering to say “thank you” to others can go a long way in making somebody’s day. Workers who receive appreciation from their managers are regularly more motivated and optimistic about their jobs.

Benefits of Gratitude

There are many simple ways to develop a grateful attitude. Below are some scientifically proven benefits of gratitude:

  • It opens the door to more relationships
  • Improves physical health
  • Improves psychological health
  • It enhances empathy and reduces aggression
  • Better sleep
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Increases mental strength

Practice Thankfulness

By learning to replace unhealthy food choices with healthier options, we can also develop new habits to adapt our attitudes and cultivate gratitude. Here are some suggestions:

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it or deliver it and read it in person. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Occasionally, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help to think about someone who has done something nice for you and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day with a loved one.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes, it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.)

Seeking Peace

Feeling grateful even for daily minor annoyances may be another way to deal with stress. For example, instead of being pessimistic about a re-scheduled meeting, think of that extra time as an opportunity to give more thought about the contributions you can make or questions you may have during the meeting.

Sometimes, flipping a worried thought, such as ‘I’m so stressed about this’ with ‘I’m so excited I get to do this,” can help to maintain a more positive outlook.

At GA Foods, we’re grateful to serve others, as reflected in our mission: Nourishment. Delivered.

As case managers and caregivers, you make many positive contributions daily in helping others live better lives, and we are grateful for your dedication and commitment!

Happy Thanksgiving from the GA Foods Family!