What is the most natural way to reduce inflammation and heart disease? It turns out that gratitude and positive thinking can lead to better health. When you are thankful, you will tend to have a generous heart, being willing to give gifts and do more for people around you. Although people don’t often see the link, showing gratitude can go a long way towards improving your health.
Having A Positive Attitude Is Good For Your Heart
A professor of family medicine from the University of California in San Diego recently performed studies concluding that having a positive attitude is good for your heart health. It can help fight depression and lower stress and anxiety. All three of these health concerns are directly linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
A Study Examines The Benefits Of Gratitude
Professor Paul Mills had been researching behavior and heart health for several decades. He began to see a correlation between positive patients and improved health. So Professor Mills decided to conduct a study.
Mills found 186 volunteers, both men and women, around the age of 66. All of the volunteers had experienced some form of heart concerns, such as high blood pressure or even a heart attack. The volunteers were then required to fill out a form and list how grateful they were for their friends, family, and well-being.
After examining the questionnaires, Professor Mills concluded that the people that were more grateful were among the healthier volunteers. He noted a reduced occurrence of depression, better sleep patterns, and more energy in the volunteers that were very grateful.
In addition to a questionnaire, Mills also performed blood tests in order to measure inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to plaque buildup in the arteries and to injuries or infection. Again, the grateful volunteers had lower levels of inflammation than volunteers that were less grateful.
Additional Research Into Gratitude
Professor Mills was pleased with the results of his first study, so he decided to follow this up with another examination. This time, he tested 40 patients for heart disease. He requested half of the patients to keep a journal throughout the week and write down several things that they were grateful for each day.
After two months, Mills tested the patients again. He noted that all of the patients that wrote in a journal had improved heart health compared to their beginning health levels. Mills was not surprised that the study supported his original research, but he was happy that an overwhelming percentage of patients experienced improved health simply by thinking about the things that they are most grateful for.
How Can You Benefit From This Research?
If you would like to replicate the findings of Professor Mills, all you need to do is take a couple minutes out of each day to think about the things that you are grateful for. Think about your friends, family, pets, home, work, and anything else that makes you happy. You could even write in a journal as the patients in the second study were required.
By taking a small amount of time out of your day to focus on the positive aspects of your life, you can actually begin improving your health. If you want to reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, then take the time to be grateful.