There are numerous studies that show that gratitude and thanks giving are good for the mind, body and spirit. So if you want to be healthier and happier, make EVERY day Thanksgiving!
By Dr. Mercola
Each year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans gather together with friends and family for a Thanksgiving feast — a ritual that many psychologists believe actually fosters greater happiness and health.
And, while the ritual of giving thanks once a year is beneficial, doing it more often could be life changing. At least that’s what science suggests.
The Benefits of Ritual Get-Togethers at Mealtime
As noted by Barbara Fiese, a psychologist and author of “Family Routines and Rituals”:
“Through direct observation of family mealtimes at home, we’ve found that how families communicate with one another during meals is related to the children’s health.
For example, when families show genuine concern about their child’s daily activities … teachers report these children are less likely to show acting-out behaviors in school.
What’s more, these interactions make children with chronic health conditions such as asthma feel more secure, and they’re more likely to report that they feel better throughout the day.”
Bill Doherty, a family therapist and researcher added:
“The classic outcomes of regular rituals for families are coherence (a sense of identity) and connection (a sense of closeness) …
[But] barriers to good interaction — such as cellphone use, people getting up from the table and arguments — were even more strongly related (in a negative direction) to children’s psychological well-being and academic performance.
The implication is that we have to pay attention to doing some things well during meals — such as staying at the table and laughing together — but also avoid negative interactions.”
Gratitude Increases Happiness — and Health
As suggested in the video above, research shows that gratitude is a cornerstone of happiness. Moreover, actually expressing your gratitude publicly or openly yields greater results than keeping it to yourself.
If you typically cringe when it’s time to go around the table and share what you’re grateful for, remembering the benefits you reap may ease your discomfort. As noted in a previous CNN report on gratitude and Thanksgiving:2
“… there are some very practical reasons to get into the spirit of things, by taking a minute to remember the reasons you’re blessed. These are lessons that can be applied year-round.”
- Improved sleep, especially if your mind has a tendency to go into overdrive with negative thoughts and worries at bedtime
- Higher levels of happiness and a more optimistic outlook on life
- Greater likelihood to engage in healthy activities such as exercise
- Higher relationship satisfaction
- Higher work performance (in one study, managers who expressed gratitude saw a 50 percent increase in the employees’ performance)
Studies have also shown that gratitude can produce a number of measurable effects on a number of systems in your body, all of which can translate into improved health. Biological systems beneficially affected by gratitude include:6
|Mood neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine)||Inflammatory and immune systems (cytokines)|
|Reproductive hormones (testosterone)||Stress hormones (cortisol)|
|Social bonding hormones (oxytocin)||Blood pressure, cardiac and EEG rhythms|
|Cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters (dopamine)||Blood sugar|
Read the rest of the article: here.
Other recommended reading:
Salud and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.