Expressing Gratitude Is Linked to Reducing Heart Disease Risk
Gratitude! Oprah made the concept of gratitude very popular when she did a show on it and featured Sarah Ban Breathnach in 1995. She had written a book called "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy," which was later followed with her "Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude."
I remember watching the show, thinking how excited Oprah was about writing her gratitude journal every day. She recommended to her viewers that they write in their gratitude journals and see how their lives would change.
Oprah generally talks about gratitude in terms of helping her emotional state —and the emotional state of anyone else who was willing to try the process of writing in a gratitude journal.
Now a research study published in the American Psychological Association's journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice shows that gratitude can have a positive impact on heart disease.
According to Psychology Today, gratitude is defined as “an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has, as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.”
Gratitude involves noticing and appreciating the positive aspects of life. It is part of a positive outlook on life. Gratitude is also commonly seen as an aspect of spirituality, said lead author Paul J. Mills, PhD, professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego.
Previous research has shown that people who considered themselves spiritual often had greater overall well-being, including physical health. So Mills and his team looked at the role of spirituality and gratitude played for patients that had asymptomatic heart failure for at least three months.
These patients with asymptomatic heart failure had a structural change in their heart because of a previous heart attack that damaged the heart cells. It is considered asymptomatic because they don’t show any symptoms.
They chose candidates in the first three months after their heart attacks because that is a critical time to make sure that the heart doesn’t progress to heart failure with symptoms.
The researchers used standard psychological tests and gratitude journals for most days of the week, for eight weeks, along with their regular clinical care.
“We found that those patients who kept gratitude journals for those eight weeks showed reductions in circulating levels of several important inflammatory biomarkers, as well as an increase in heart rate variability while they wrote. Improved heart rate variability is considered a measure of reduced cardiac risk,” said Mills.
So incorporating gratitude into your weekly practice can help your heart emotionally and physically! Try it and let me know how it works for you.
If you are not sure how to start, you can go to my website to my gratitude exercise. Try it for seven days. Enjoy it and let me know how it works for you.
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Dr. Daemon Jones is your diabetes reversal, hormones, metabolism and weight loss expert. Dr. Dae is a naturopathic doctor who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone appointments. Visit her or schedule a free consultation at her website,www.HealthyDaes.com
A Grateful Heart is a Healthier Heart. American Psychological Association. November 18, 2015.
Expressing Gratitude Is Linked To A Healthier Heart, Study Finds. HuffingtonPost.com. November 18, 2015.
The Benefits of Gratitude. PsychologyToday.com. November 11, 2015.
What Oprah Knows for Sure About Gratitude. Oprah.com November 18, 2015.
This article was originally published on EmpowHer.com, Reviewed November 19, 2015, by Michele Blacksberg RN, Edited by Jody Smith