Health Stewardship; Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude
What better time to talk about the health benefits of gratitude than during the celebratory days of Thanksgiving. Too be sure, we would be wise to maintain a focus of thanksgiving on a daily basis.

5, 7, 10, 31… Depending where you search, these are the number of health benefits you will find validated, many of them scientifically, about maintaining an attitude of gratitude. The benefits extend into the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social dimensions of our lives.
Here are the top 7 health benefits of gratitude, well-documented in the scientific research:
• Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Adding friends is a positive way of adding social support, an important factor for maintaining our mental health.
• Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people.
• Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.
• Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kind.
• Grateful people sleep better, specifically writing in a gratitude journal as a nighttime ritual before sleep.
• Gratitude improves self-esteem, by lessening social comparisons and the enhancing the ability to appreciate others’ accomplishments.
• Gratitude increases mental strength. Studies have shown it reduces stress, aids in resilience and plays a major role in overcoming traumatic experiences.
We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. What do you think about gratitude as a spiritual practice? Do you begin daily prayer with expressing gratitude?  Is your experience with God deepening through gratitude? As we give thanks for all the gifts in our lives, let us remember it is God who makes those gifts possible - thus, it all points back to God. What a wonderful and prayerful way to live in gratitude each and every day of our lives.

Peace and health in Christ,   Marcia L. Isherwood, RN, BSN    
Aurora Parish Nurse in Partnership with St. John Lutheran/Cudahy   
Ofc: M-W-F 414-288-5288   Ofc: Tu-Th 414-481-0520