We know that taking time to count our blessings is a great way to put life’s setbacks into perspective, not to mention a good opportunity to feel some oft-forgotten contentedness. But now there’s research suggesting that gratitude could actually keep heart disease from progressing. In a study that involved 200 patients with heart failure but who had yet to show symptoms of fatigue or shortness of breath, participants were asked to keep a gratitude journal for eight weeks and document three things they were grateful for each day. Those who consistently journaled had reductions in several key inflammatory biomarkers and showed improved heart rate variability— a sign of reduced cardiac risk, according to the study’s author. It makes sense this would be the case since the study linked high levels of gratitude with patients experiencing better moods, better sleep, less fatigue and less inflammation. Though the study can only prove gratitude’s positive influence on heart health markers and not heart health specifically, it’s convinced us that a daily dose of gratitude each day certainly couldn’t hurt.
A Grateful Heart May Be a Healthy Heart
October 15, 2016