Aside from being the time of year when we look forward to family dinners and pumpkin spiced everything, November is a month when most of us spend at least a few moments contemplating what we are thankful for before we fill up at the Thanksgiving table. This month consider taking on the challenge of extending this day of giving thanks into a full year of practicing gratitude and appreciation.
But don’t just do it to be nice, do it for your health: gratitude has been scientifically shown to actually improve your health, providing benefit to well-being and quality of life.
Gratitude lends itself to optimism which has health benefits. Optimism can actually decrease your risk for cardiac events and mortality, and improve survival rates in some disease states. Gratitude has been linked with improved sleep and immunity.
You may find that if you step back to offer gratitude for nature, for music, for those around you, for your ability to experience love and grief, you can increase your happiness and improve your health.
What can we do in our daily lives to cultivate gratitude?
Challenge yourself to bring gratitude to every experience you have as you head into autumn and the Holidays.
— By Meghan Kemnec, ND (’14), resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health
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