Being Grateful for Your Health

When your parents reminded you to be grateful as a kid, did you ever stop to think there was a greater purpose than simply being well-mannered? Have you ever wondered how gratitude could impact your life? Our parents might have been onto something when they told us that. Not only does being grateful show your appreciation for the people around you, but it also can seriously improve personal health.

Research shows that practicing gratitude is a highly beneficial habit to implement in your life. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude for 15 minutes daily for at least six weeks can promote mental and physical health.

Taking time out of your day to recognize things you are grateful for can improve your overall well-being. For one, studies have shown that more than 26,000 people have found a link between lowered levels of depression and higher levels of gratitude. Additionally, anxiety increases when one focuses negatively on the past or future. By acknowledging what you are thankful for, you can reduce anxiety levels as it shifts your focus to the present moment. Also, gratitude can help to relax your nervous system when you are stressed out. Stress causes your heart to beat faster, but when you take a moment for gratitude, your body undergoes a physiological change that triggers the part of your nervous system responsible for rest and digestion. As a result, your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing pace lowers, which increases relaxation.

Gratitude is a beautiful practice to increase the quality of your life. It is a wonderful feeling to be reminded of the positive things around you. Being grateful adds more meaning to your life and can positively alter your perspective.


This article was written by Gabrielle Keller, a Public Relations Student at UF.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Counseling & Wellness Center, or the University of Florida.