On Thanksgiving, Hanukkah Or Any Day: Giving Thanks Can Boost Health

Turkey – Check.
Candles  Check
Parade on TV – Check.
Expressing Gratitude – Not on the List?

Whether it’s a holiday like Thanksgiving or Hanukkah -- in 2013, Thanksgivikkah – or any random day, this simple act seems to bear real physical and mental health benefits, according to researchers.

Practicing gratitude appears to help people lower their blood pressure and succeed at undertaking healthy activities like smoking cessation and weight loss. 

A thankful attitude helps people under chronic pressure feel less stress and depression, and appears to foster a lower risk of developing alcoholism. Experts suggest that focusing on positive things retrains the brain to pick up on additional positives, rather than highlighting negative aspects of life.

To boost your gratitude quotient, try these 3 techniques:

  1. Make a list. Periodically write down the things, people and situations for which you are grateful.
  2. Think it over. Spend a few minutes each day or week contemplating what you’re grateful for.
  3. Say thank you. Call, email or write a note to someone who did something for you in the past, like a friend or co-worker.


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