Heart Health

Should the “thanks” end on Thanksgiving?

December 2, 2010
CHI Health


Should the “thanks” end on Thanksgiving?

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that gratitude can lead to greater happiness and healthiness.

Happiness seems obvious, doesn’t it? If you’re grateful for the world around you, you should be a happier person. But what about the research that shows that a big ol’ dose of gratitude can make you healthier?

The Journal’s report goes on to illustrate several studies proving the theory. For example:

  • “Kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied.”
  • In a survey of more than 1,000 high school students, “the most grateful had more friends and higher GPAs while the most materialistic had lower grades, higher levels of envy and less satisfaction with life.”

The cynic inside me wants to scream out that these kids could simply be more grateful because they have more friends, get better grades, etc. – not the other way around! Not surprisingly, however, researchers had the same concern. So they performed another study that, ultimately, goes even further to prove the power of positive thinking.

You’ll have to read the full article to see the exact results. While there you can also take a quiz to see just how much gratitude you have and you might also walk away with a few new tips to help you and your entire family be more grateful for the world around you.

But we’re curious – is gratitude a once-a-year sort of thing in your household, only experienced around a big turkey dinner? Or do you find time year round to give thanks for all of life’s blessings?

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