Is everyone enjoying their summer? The dog days of summer give us an abundance to be thankful for and fortunately taking time out of our day to be appreciative has health benefits.
Gratitude is the right attitude
Now you might be thinking that getting health benefits from gratitude is a bit of a stretch. But it’s true and is backed by an experiment by two researchers in psychology, Michael McCollough and Robert Emmons. The researchers split hundreds of people into three groups to see how their attitude affected their health and what they found is surprising and uplifting.
In their study, the psychologists required all three groups keep a daily journal of their thoughts and occurrences during the day. The first group was able to record both the good and bad about their day. The second group could only write down what went wrong during the course of the day. But, the third group was told to focus on the positive and journal what made the day special. Members of the final group reported making healthier lifestyle choices and having lower levels of depression. The study, entitled Counting Blessings Versus Burdens, concludes that appreciativeness results in an overall attitude that results in good health. Gratitude has a range of benefits from being optimistic, sharing your thanks with others and noticing all of life’s pleasures. All of this adds up.
Optimism is a health choice
Gratefulness breeds optimism which leads people to take better care of themselves. This means more preventative health practices like regular doctor visits, healthy diet choices and an exercise routine. All of these choices boost the immune system to better fight disease and aging. Optimism provides another boost: enthusiasm. Think about how much easier your day is when you are enthusiastic to face whatever life throws at you. That’s the power of enthusiasm.
Sharing your praise
Appreciative people give thanks to those that help them. The week of August 7th observes National Health Center Week. The week is designed to recognize the service and contributions of health centers and their staff. The nurses and aides who work in the assisted living and nursing areas of Hunt Community and The Huntington at Nashua provide our residents with the best possible care. This is evidenced by our continued designation as Deficiency Free by the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services. Their works deserves to be acknowledged. Everyone involved in healthcare has a story to tell about why they chose this work. Ask your health provider what makes their job important to them and why they chose working in their field. When we ask our health care practitioners these questions, it communicates that we care and appreciate their work. This is a very effective way of expressing our gratitude.
Embracing the minutiae
Sometimes we focus solely on the bigger picture. We forget that the small details are what make life special. Count everything positive, no matter how big or small, that happens over the course of the day and you will end up with a long list. Explore what makes you smile, laugh and joyous. Silverstone Living has the resources to help you focus on these simple pleasures. Remember in this next phase of your life, it is time to limit the stresses and concentrate on what makes life special.
Think about everything you are happy to have in your life: your family, your friends, your health, all your experiences. Now, think of the time you have in this next phase of your life. What do you want to do with this time? Your Silverstone Living family is here to ensure you spend this time well, in happiness and good health.
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