Can Gratitude Help Your Bones And Your Health? Get The Evidence-Based Answers
As we approach Thanksgiving, I wish all Savers in the U.S. a warm and wonderful holiday celebration this week. I hope that your Thanksgiving will be filled with friends, family, love and genuine gratitude.
Gratitude really shouldn’t be confined to just one week out of the year; it should span the entire year. Today you’ll discover what I’m sure will amaze you: that feeling grateful has been scientifically proven to help build your bones and improve your overall health.
So I’m thrilled to share with you five health benefits of thankfulness, and we’ll also explore the science behind them.
Five Scientifically-Backed Benefits Of Feeling Grateful
1. Greater Happiness And Well-Being, Less Anxiety And Depression
When you cultivate a sense of gratitude, you can look forward to a happier, calmer outlook, according to a review published in Clinical Psychology Review. According to the research, gratitude is “strongly linked” to a sense of positive well-being and:
“Well-being can be defined through (a) psychopathology, (b) general emotional functioning, (c) existential functioning, or (d) humanistic conceptions… gratitude is robustly associated with each of these conceptions of well-being.”1
This is good news indeed, especially as we gear up for the holidays, which can be a stressful time for some. Experiencing less anxiety is important, since the ‘fight or flight’ hormone cortisol can actually damage your bones.
2. Leads To Lifestyle Habits Resulting In Better Health
It’s interesting to note that grateful people tend to engage in healthful eating, regular exercise, and other healthy habits. According to a 2013 study:
“… grateful individuals experience better physical health, in part, because of their greater psychological health, propensity for healthy activities, and willingness to seek help for health concerns.”2
These things feed on each other. Gratitude inspires healthy behavior, and healthy behavior inspires more gratitude. It’s a win-win for all aspects of health, including your bone health.
3. Builds A Strong Immune System
Incredibly, white blood cell counts are actually higher in those with a positive outlook, according to a study published in Psychological Science. Researchers evaluated law students as to positivity and optimism, and discovered that immunity was in fact influenced by outlook.
Those with an optimistic view had increases in various immune cells, leading researchers to note in their discussion that:
“Optimistic expectancies are accompanied by changes in immunity, as well as the first evidence for a mechanism by which this effect occurs.”3
How timely that Thanksgiving falls during cold and flu season!
4. Improved Sleep
When you’re grateful, it’s more likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep (which is bound to make you even more thankful!). This was clearly shown in a study of 401 male and female participants, aged 18 to 68, which explored “pre-sleep cognitions” and how they influence sleep quality and duration.
Researchers report results that are independent of personality traits, including neuroticism, which can negatively affect sleep.
The scientists note that:
“Gratitude predicted greater subjective sleep quality and sleep duration, and less sleep latency and daytime dysfunction.”4
This elucidates prior research that revealed a remarkable improvement in mood and relaxation when people took time in the evenings to “count their blessings.”
So gratitude helps to build bone more efficiently, since lack of sleep can lead to bone loss.
5. Healthier Relationships
There’s no doubt that grateful people are more enjoyable to be around, and research shows that they do in fact have healthier, more satisfying relationships. The study published in the Clinical Psychology Review found that grateful people practice positive relationship traits, such as forgiveness and interpersonal connection. Additionally, grateful people derive more satisfaction from their relationships.1
This extends to work and business relationships, too. Have you ever known someone who just seemed “lucky” in business and in life? Everything seems to go well with them, from relationships to business success. But it might just be that they’ve cultivated a grateful outlook that opens them up to new experiences, information, and people. That’s an attitude you’ll find among Savers!
Considering this research, it makes more sense than ever to cultivate a grateful outlook. And here’s something else to boost your optimism, because…
Feeling Grateful Gets Easier As We Age
Gratitude develops over the years, beginning around preschool age. During the teen years, gratitude is exhibited less obviously, as children grow more independent and dislike acknowledging the dependence that gratitude implies. Then, during young adulthood, gratitude begins to increase until it seems to peak in the senior years.
The reasons for this are interesting to consider. It could be due to decreased sensitivity in the amygdala, a part of the limbic system that is involved in attention and memory. Over time, this area of the brain becomes less sensitive to unhappy or negative information.
And the fact is, as we age, we have a broader perspective due to greater life experience. Negativities that would have dragged us down in our adolescence just don’t seem to matter as much when we have a better understanding of the “big picture.”
Being able to see the larger scope of things and feeling grateful opens your mind, as I mentioned above. I’ve seen this attitude again and again when Savers write in about how they’ve defied the odds and regained bone density when their doctors were anything but optimistic.
This is partly because, like all positive emotions…
Gratitude Boosts Bone Health
The comprehensive nature of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program takes mental and emotional aspects of health into consideration. The pH-balanced nutritional program includes a lot of depression-fighting Foundation Foods that build bones and improve mood. And the Program includes regular exercise, which has been shown time and again to relieve depression and increase happiness. This helps Savers avoid bone-damaging anti-depressant drugs.
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
So what better time than now to thank you for your participation in the Save Our Bones community, and for your commitment to reversing osteoporosis without dangerous drugs. I could never do this without you, and the gratitude I feel toward each and every one of you is genuine and heartfelt.
Thanks to you, I remain inspired to tirelessly continue my work, and I’m truly grateful!
1 Wood, Alex M., Froh, Jeffrey J., and Geraghty, Adam W.A. “Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration.” Clinical Psychology Review. 30(2010) 890-905. Web. http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/alex.wood/gratitudereview.pdf
2 Hill, Patrick L., Allemand, Mathias, and Roberts, Brent W. “Examining the Pathways between Gratitude and Self-Rated Physical Health across Adulthood.” Pers Individ Dif. January 2013. 54(1): 92-96. Doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2012.08.011. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3489271/
3 Segersrom, Suzanne C. and Sephton, Sandra E. “Optimistic Expectancies and Cell-Mediated Immunity: The Role of Positive Affect.” Psychological Science. February 24, 2010. 21:448. Doi: 10.1177/0956797610362061. Web. http://courses.education.illinois.edu/EdPsy587/Segerstrom_Sephton_Psych_Sci_2010.pdf
4 Wood, A.M., et al. “Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions.” J Psychosom Res. January 2009. 66(1): 43-8. Doi: 10.1016/j.psychores.2008.09. 002. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19073292