By: Laura Walton AFC®
We would all agree that being grateful is reflective of a positive attitude towards life but I was surprised to learn that being grateful might also make us healthier…
A story earlier this week on NPR’s Morning Edition featured the work of Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Professor Mills asked 186 men and women to complete the following questionnaire and observed that the more grateful the respondent, the healthier they were. Mills reported that “they had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy”.
He then did a follow up study of 40 individuals testing them before and after for markers of heart disease: inflammation and hearth rhythm. In the two intervening months, he asked them to note things they were grateful for in a daily journal. Those who wrote faithfully showed reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythms.
This was a small study; who knows if there is a proven link between being grateful and our health. We do know, however, that being grateful allows us to focus on the positive things in our lives. By doing that, the negative, and the stress it carries, becomes secondary and, with practice, might even slip away.
The Gratefulness Questionnaire
Using this scale, write a number beside each statement below to indicate how much you agree with it: 1 = strongly disagree 2 = disagree 3 = slightly disagree 4 = neutral 5 = slightly agree 6 = agree 7 = strongly agree
____1. I have so much in life to be thankful for.
____2. If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list.
____3. When I look at the world, I don’t see much to be grateful for.*
____4. I am grateful to a wide variety of people.
____5. As I get older I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.
____6. Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.*
Follow this link for scoring instructions and enjoy a grateful Thanksgiving…