If our goal is to become healthier, usually we think of exercising more. Perhaps we also ponder eating less or maybe choosing foods that are more nutritious. Rarely do most of think of attitude as being a true indicator our our health when often that is the perfect place to start. By learning to focus first on our our responses to what life throws at us, we can learn to be thankful even if a situation is not going our way.
Being thankful has numerous health benefits – here are five of them.
When you have a good attitude, you are more apt to take care of yourself. You do have this strange desire to take a walk in the fresh air, rather than sitting on the couch all day. You grab an apple as you head out the door, rather than drown your sorrows in a pint of ice cream.
Moving more and eating healthier will help you to lose weight or to stay trim. This lessens strain on your joints and muscles, making simple injuries less common. The more thankful for your good health, the more you are going to want to make an effort to stay that way.
You are less apt to need to take a day off from work due to pressure. Although I could not find definitive statistics, probably millions if not billions of dollars are lost each year due to stress related ailments. “Mental health” days are as common as actual sick days. By learning to grateful for the little things, stress is less likely to take a hold.
Optimism builds immunity. People who have a positive attitude actually get sick less often. Because they are probably able to sleep better at not, looking on the bright side can actually decrease illness. In addition, when you choose not to dwell on minor aches and pains, they are more likely to go away over time. As opposed to what happens when you fixate on irritations …
When you are in a thankful state of mind, little frustrations tend to not be an issue. This keeps you on a more even keel, thus avoiding mood swings. Especially for those who tend to reach for chocolate, chips or other junk food for comfort, being more of a steady person is definitely helpful to your health.
Recognizing that you need to have more of a healthy attitude? Here’s some suggestions:
Start a gratitude journal. Instead of focusing on what you can no longer do (such as running), focus on what you can do (walking). Make the effort every day to find at least one thing to be thankful for – then add on. Try be thankful for one thing per morning, then one thing per hour. Once you can be thankful every minute, you know that you get the concept. 🙂 Actually any time we are more thankful, good things can happen!
By the way … For my research to write this piece, I read the following 2 articles.
I also read an article from my phone at the online Shape Magazine entitled “5 Ways Gratitude is Good for Your Health.”
While some of the main points were possibly taken from the articles, the commentary is mine.