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Gratitude’s Physical Effects

Gratitude’s Physical Effects

We’ve already looked at how gratitude can impact on your psychological well-being. However, it can also have a positive effect on your physical health. Here, we take a closer look at how implementing gratitude practice in your everyday routine can make you feel better, get well sooner, and maybe even live longer.

Improved Sleep

Most of us know that sleep is very important to maintain good health. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body comes under excess strain. This increases the chances of your developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical problems. However, it can be hard to get to sleep. Many people suffer from insomnia. Yet, studies have shown that practicing gratitude more often is an easy way of improving the quality of your sleep.

A study carried out into patients suffering from chronic pain and heart failure reported sleeping better when they practiced gratitude, even despite their problems, when compared with patients who were less grateful. Those who were most grateful reported being able to fall asleep more rapidly, sleep for longer, have a better quality of sleep and stay awake more easily in the daytime.

The evidence from these studies showed that gratitude helps to improve sleep because it causes people to have fewer negative thoughts at bedtime and more positive ones. It stands to reason that if you’re worried and anxious at night, your body’s stress level increases and this keeps you awake. On the other hand, if you’re focusing on things you’re thankful for, the relaxation response in the body is triggered and you can drift off more easily....

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