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It’s such a simple expression of gratitude. How many times do you think you say it — or hear it said to you — in a day?
As we approach Thanksgiving, gratefulness is top of mind for many of us. Here at Juice Plus+, we are thankful for many things, including:
- Our millions of customers around the world
- The hundreds of thousands of amazing people who choose to share Juice Plus+
- Our dedicated corporate staff that support our mission to inspire healthy living around the world
Speaking of healthy living, it turns out there are a number of mental and physical benefits of being grateful. Without going into an exhaustive look at the published studies — you know we can geek out on research here at Juice Plus+ (after all, we do have more than 35 studies that highlight the impact of Juice Plus+ on health) — we thought it would be interesting to examine the relationship between thankfulness and a healthy lifestyle.
Gratitude Improves Your Mood
At its root, gratitude helps us acknowledge the goodness in our lives. That goodness may be tangible or intangible, and it may come from within us or from outside of us. Especially when we recognize that good comes from outside of us, it helps connect us to something bigger than ourselves — whether that’s other people, nature, or even a higher power.
As a result, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness in positive psychology research. Focusing on what you’re grateful for can help you feel more positive emotions, build strong relationships, enjoy good experiences, and deal with adversity.
Gratefulness Encourages Healthier Habits
According to Susan Peirce Thompson, a cognitive scientist who specializes in the psychology of eating, practicing gratitude can also boost your impulse control, which helps you slow down and make better decisions at the dinner table.1
More specifically, one study found that people who express gratitude tend to exercise more often, eat healthier, and attend regular doctor check-ups. Those behaviors, in turn, likely contribute to further longevity.
Saying “Thanks” Helps You Sleep
In addition to being thankful for a good night’s rest, saying “thanks” before you go to bed (or at anytime really) may help you sleep better and longer. Emma Seppälä, a happiness researcher at Stanford and Yale Universities, says, “Count blessings, not sheep.” Those positive thoughts may have soothing effects on the nervous system.1
Showing Appreciation Supports a Healthy Heart
Expressing gratitude may bolster heart health as well based on studies by Paul Mills, a Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
The studies revealed that people who kept a regular journal in which they documented what they were grateful for — from their children to travel and good food — had reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythm compared a control group. Plus, after only 2 months of this new routine, the journal-keepers also showed a decreased risk of heart disease.2
How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
As you can see, you have a lot to gain from saying “thanks.” And the great thing is that there are many simple things you can do to be more grateful in your own life. Last year we shared this gratitude challenge, and we encourage you to give it a try.