Learning to feel more gratitude and appreciation for what you have in life is not only good for your mental health, but it can also improve your physical health and overall wellness, too. You may not think that how and what you believe can influence your physical well-being, but your mindset has a tremendous effect on your overall fitness and health, and learning to think more positively and gratefully about your life can improve all these things.
How Gratitude Benefits your Health
When you focus your mind and thoughts on what you appreciate, this increases your sense of relaxation and well-being. When you think about the positive things in your life, your heart literally slows down, your body releases fewer stress hormones and more “feel good” hormones and neurotransmitters, and you feel better in every cell in your body. Feeling more negative emotions, like insecurity, frustration, or sadness, can lead to increases in brain and hormone activity that elevate blood pressure and heart rate, reduce cognitive function, and impair your immune system.
Thinking more positively and about your gratitude can result in more positive health outcomes, including helping you to sleep better, lowering levels of inflammation, improving heart function, and helping you maintain other healthy habits, such as proper eating and exercising more.
Gratitude can even help when things are not going as planned. When you face stress, health problems, or other difficulties, having a positive attitude focused on appreciation can help you remain optimistic about the possibilities for overcoming your struggles. Even those who face severe health problems, like cancer, experience better outcomes when they remain positive and focus on their gratitude.
Practicing Positive Health
When you engage in positive health practices, you combine the benefit and power of physical wellness with your thoughts and emotions and your lifestyle choices to make a more significant impact on your overall health and well-being. There is increasing evidence that mindset and attitude play a more significant role in overall health than we once believed, and embracing positive health practices is an excellent way to ensure that you remain healthy and active throughout your life.
Some of the ways that positive health can improve your wellness include:
Being willing to put in more work and wait for more substantial outcomes later, including improved health markers.
Having stronger relationships with other people, which can increase your life span and help you feel more positive and hopeful.
Making it more likely that you will engage in self-care behaviors like eating healthy, exercising, seeing a doctor regularly, and abstaining from drugs or alcohol.
Sleeping better, which can improve your overall health dramatically.
Avoiding snacking, binging, and overeating behaviors, which are all associated with negative emotions and unhealthy stress coping actions.
Finding productive and healthy ways to manage depression and anxiety.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude means that you appreciate your body and what it needs, so you are more likely to do what you need to take care of yourself. Gratitude is a more sustainable form of happiness than other types of gratification which often have unhealthy consequences, such as eating a sugary treat or drinking alcohol. When you have a positive frame of mind, your happiness lasts longer and is less likely to be disrupted by setbacks and obstacles.
Taking time to express your thankfulness and gratitude regularly can not only improve your mental health but also have significant positive consequences for your overall wellness, including your physical well-being. When you focus on the positives in your life and what you have, you will see that your thoughts turn into actions, which translate into more positive outcomes over time.