The Healing Power of Gratitude

REDBOOK|November 2016

The Healing Power of Gratitude

A growing body of research shows that counting your blessings can not only bring you joy but also improve your physical health. This is one Turkey Day tradition you’ll want to keep year round.

Jennifer King Lindley

FAMILY, FRIENDS, GOOD FOOD, a home, the kindness of others: These are the things we acknowledge around the Thanksgiving table—or, sometimes, after everyone’s gone home and the dishes are done and we can also be grateful for a coffee table to put our feet on. We know, inherently, that it’s a good thing to take stock of what’s going right in our world—and now scientists are saying that doing so can boost our physical health as much as our mental state or relationships.

Studies have linked living a thankful life to fewer aches and pains, better sleep, and more. “Making gratitude a daily practice is like giving yourself a vitamin,” says David DeSteno, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston and author of the forthcoming book Emotional

Success. He’s not being hyperbolic: He means it’s like an actual vitamin, making your body work better. And the deep, long­lasting power of gratitude is blissfully simple to harness.


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November 2016