Thanksgiving is here and I am reminded of a friend of mine, born and raised abroad, telling me years ago why he had fully embraced this great American holiday.
“Food, Family and Football!”
“But in all seriousness, Thanksgiving is the perfect American holiday” he continued. “Non-denominational, embraced by every creed and celebrated by every wave of immigrant to have graced these shores. Thanksgiving transcends class, religion, money and everything else to be about, simply, Gratitude.” Well sure, what better reason for a holiday than that? And it turns out, being thankful is also good for your health. Noted below are some fascinating facts I found recently at the Body Works exhibition.
People who are grateful in their daily lives have healthier levels of key body chemicals than those who say they are not. These individuals have been found to have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to type two diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. They also have lower counts of fibrinogen, an essential blood clotting protein that in high doses is an indicator of future heart disease. People who are grateful respond differently to their environment and cut their risk of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Grateful people also report higher levels of optimism and, those who think of the glass as half full are less likely to die of heart disease than pessimists. To believe that the worst will happen is more significant than age, weight or heart condition in increasing your risk of dying from heart disease.
So, enjoy the Holidays with your family, try to eat healthily and mindfully, and remember the gratitude you feel is good for you too!