Gratitude and Your Health

by Marilyn Okoye

Giving thanks and being grateful is easy when all is going well.  How do you remain grateful when we are in the eighth month of a pandemic?  In our last post, Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart, we talked about different ways to express our gratitude.  I can't say this enough, especially in the midst of this pandemic.  A good reason to live with an attitude of gratitude is that it may help improve the quality of our health and well-being.

Several studies have shown how regularly expressing gratitude may help regulate our minds, mood, and stress level.  In making an effort to express gratitude, people may experience better sleep, less anxiety and depression, and ultimately, less stress. The study goes on to note that if our brains are focused on more positive things, it is less likely to focus on negativity.  Additionally, as the brain receives more positive stimuli, it looks for those things that present itself  positively. The Grateful Brain 

The American Heart Association reports that practicing gratitude may help to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.  Expressing gratitude can be especially important since individuals with compromised immune systems and underlying health conditions can become severely ill when exposed to COVID-19. 

Gratitude, like milk, "does the body good".  If you have difficulty finding gratitude in the small, everyday things, start a gratitude journal.  Take a few minutes and acknowledge the simple things, the little things that we might unknowingly take for granted.  

Breath - every breath you take is a gift, even the labored one's.  Breath means life, and you have every opportunity to live your best life or get to your healthy place to be able to live your best life. 

Movement - movement of your limbs is a blessing.  I have arthritis in my knees, fingers, and funnily enough, my two big toes.  However, slow and stiff at times, I am so grateful that I can still walk, dance, and ride my bike, to name a few.  

Shelter - I am grateful for a roof over my head.  My house is over 60 years old and needs a lot of work, but my family has a place to lay our heads at night.  We have food to eat.  I remember when I could not afford to pay my gas bill, and it was tough, especially during the winter months.  I am grateful for the programs and resources that helped to pay my bill.  

Employment - I am grateful for 20+ years of employment.  I still have some years to go, but I am grateful for the new ideas that God is giving me to keep my mind active as I prepare for retirement.  If we think about it, the list can go on and on.  

I am sure your list will be different from mine but try it.  Gratitude can change your outlook on things.  I hope that you take some time to review the information provided in the links and began to practice gratefulness.  It can save your life.  

Gratitude Journal📖


If you are experiencing severe emotional or mental difficulty during this pandemic, please call your counselor, medical provider, and/or 911 for immediate help. For  information on mental wellness, visit the National Institute of Mental Health. 

Your comments are welcomed👇What are you grateful for?


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