The One Little Habit for Better Health
By Jenna McCarthy
The ONE little habit for better health.The holidays should be merry and magical — but the added pressure to shop, cook, wrap and entertain can leave you feeling more frazzled than festive. Research shows that any time of the year, one of the fastest and easiest ways to fight feelings of stress is to stop and give thanks.
Why Gratitude Keeps You Healthy
“Gratitude is the foundation of health and happiness,” explains Christine Carter, Ph.D., sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. According to Carter, who has also written Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and teaches an online happiness class specifically for parents, consciously choosing to focus on the positive can combat the release of stress hormones that compromise our immune systems and cause inflammation and disease. In one study, participants who kept gratitude journals exercised more, felt better about their lives and were more optimistic about the future than those who didn’t document their good fortune. Regularly expressing appreciation also has been shown to positively impact sleep quality, mood, energy levels and help people achieve their goals.