Gratitude Improves Health

By Carol McClain @carol_mcclain


Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity. (Psychology Today,

Health–you know, that thing you may not have.

I know so many people who are suffering from severe health issues. One friend had a reoccurrence of breast cancer. She suffered through a year of chemo and radiation and surgery. Still she kept up with her writing, the office she held, decorating her house (which will be on House Hunters). Her attitude amazes me.

Another friend had a C-section, and talks about the feeling of failure she felt. BUT, she has a child and a husband and a life–so the issue is really a grateful shout-out to our medical science.

Gratitude Will:
  1. Improve your relationships. Who likes to hang out with a grump?
  2. Improve your physical health. Don’t look at what is gone. Look at what you have.

Today, I thank God:

  1. I can hike 7 miles. I can run. I can’t do it like I used to when I was 50 (or 20), but I can move.
  2. I thank God for good maternity medicine. I would’ve died after childbirth if not for modern medicine.
  3. I thank God for a prednisone shot into my toe so I can walk and run relatively pain free.
  4. I thank God for the abundance of healthy food we have. I can eat pomegranates and mangos. I have steak and chicken and fish. Plenty of vegetables fill my pantry–along with the cookies and ice cream I gravitate toward.
  5. I thank God for coffee. Scientists have tried to prove its harmful effects on our bodies. Never have they found it. (And I know I thanked God for Starbucks Peppermint Mocha–which I haven’t been able to find lately. That gratitude dealt with flavor, not health benefits.)


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