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An Attitude of Gratitude: Thankfulness and Your Health

Provided courtesy of our content partners, Labrix Clinical Services, LLC

1280px-GuadalupeNOLA15Oct07ThanksDoes being grateful affect your health in a positive manner? Research suggests it may.

Researchers from the University of California Davis performed multiple studies analyzing the weekly and daily moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms and overall life appraisals of their subjects. In addition they performed a third study including only persons with neuromuscular disease. All 3 studies demonstrated that individuals with outlooks of gratitude had a heightened sense of well­being relative to their comparison groups, with the most robust benefit having a positive effect.

This information suggests that a conscious focus on personal blessings may have benefits to emotional and interpersonal areas of life and benefit physical health. As such, when working with your patients on a stress management plan, assisting them in developing a more positive outlook and identifying what they’re grateful for may play an integral role. Of course, these tips are important to remember in your personal lives as well as with patients. Simple ways to help cultivate this positive and grateful attitude may include:

  • Positive Reminders: In the face of a stressful situation, take a moment to note what you like or find rewarding about that situation.
  • Avoid comparisons: Often times, people may find themselves causing unnecessary stress by making negative comparisons regarding themselves or a situation they’re in. Looking for inspiration in those around you can assist in avoiding the feelings of inferiority.
  • Gratitude Journal: Take time to consistently write what you are grateful for. This action step may be beneficial in relieving stress, enlightening to the individual and will catalog a positive memoir to reflect on. Many people benefit from taking this one step further and sharing their grateful observations with friends and family via email or social media sites.

While we often focus on restoring deplete nutrient levels or supporting with various botanical or glandular supplements, remember that stress management plays an integral role in restoring adrenal health in your clients with adrenal hypofunction. There are multiple modalities useful in managing stress including healthy dietary choices, lifestyle adjustments and consistent exercise programs.

Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” is an important part of addressing the mental considerations of stress and is a cost ­effective and simple addition to an individualized stress management plan.

What are you thankful for? Simplistic, yet profound, this realization may play an important role in physical and mental health for patient and practitioner alike.

1. Emmons RA, McCullough ME. “Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation
of gratitude and subjective well­being in daily life.” J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Feb; 84(2):377­89.
2. Adler MG, Fagley NS. “Appreciation: individual differences in finding value and meaning as a
unique predictor of subjective well­being.” J Pers. 2005 Feb;73(1):79­114.

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