Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Today I am grateful for delicious brisket, crisp fall weather and all my little loving animals.
Let's talk a bit about gratitude and what it ACTUALLY does for you!!
Positive effects of gratitude:
Boosts immune system
Improves brain function
Reduces effects of stress and anxiety
Helps to reduce chronic pain
Boosts self esteem
SO much more!!
In my video I talk about a few studies. Here are their PMIDS:
PMID: 12585811 (Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Robert A Emmons 1, Michael E McCullough)
PMID: 26483740 (Neural correlates of gratitude.Fox GR, Kaplan J, Damasio H, Damasio A)
PMID: 29525040 (A Mitochondrial Health Index Sensitive to Mood and Caregiving Stress. (Martin Picard 1, Aric A Prather 2, Eli Puterman 3, Alexanne Cuillerier 4, Michael Coccia 2, Kirstin Aschbacher 5, Yan Burelle 4, Elissa S Epel 2)
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Dr. Kathryn King here and happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about gratitude.
0:09 So it is all our social media today.
0:13 It’s very trendy.
0:14 And it seems a little like hippie dippie, right?
0:18 Actually, there’s a ton of research on gratitude and everything that it can do for your mental and your physical health.
0:25 So, I want to talk to you about a few studies that I found that are pretty interesting.
0:29 So one, pretty basic.
0:32 Couple of dudes in Miami got people to write down every day either things that they were grateful for, or things that annoyed them, or just sort of neutral events, just journaling.
0:45 Three months after the study ended, they checked back in with these people, and the ones who had written the gratitude statements were still happier.
0:54 They have reported more physical activity and they even have less visits to the doctors.
1:00 So it’s a little bit subjective, but I like it.
1:03 Happiness is always a goal.
1:05 A couple of other interesting ones is, there’s a lady in California who is drawing people’s blood.
1:09 So in the morning, she would take blood from people who had either written statements of gratitude or just neutral statements.
1:18 And these were parents of children with autism.
1:24 So she wanted to figure out how to improve their lives.
1:29 And so she found out that the ones that were writing the gratitude statements, they actually ended up having more and more robust and better functioning mitochondria.
1:39 So these are the powerhouses of your cells or what make energy for you and for your whole body.
1:44 So that’s pretty interesting.
1:47 There are a bunch of people also who are sticking people in MRIs, getting them to feel grateful, and then looking at what’s going on in their brains.
1:56 And it’s pretty interesting.
1:58 It really does change how your brain function specifically up in your frontal cortex, where you are housing your personality and your thought processes and your decision making skills.
2:08 And I think that’s like a pretty good spot to have extra activity.
2:12 And so if gratitude is letting that up, go for it.
2:16 So how can we implement this into our lives.
2:20 It seems like the best thing to do – if you have the time and you can work it in – is to just write it down.
2:27 So write a couple of things down every night before bed.
2:30 If that’s too much, maybe once a week, you try and think of three or four things from the past week that you’re grateful for.
2:36 And writing it down, honestly, I’ve been trying to do this for a really long time and it’s really hard for me to do it.
2:41 So I find that I can, at the very least, just say it out loud.
2:45 So I try to say a few things out loud that I’m grateful for as I’m getting into bed at night.
2:53 The other thing you can do is just say it out loud as it happens.
2:56 You know, I love all my little animals so much.
3:00 I find I’m very, very grateful for them.
3:02 So when I get a moment to like sit down and be petting all the animals, I just say out loud how grateful I am to have such tiny little bundles of love.
3:14 Additionally, there’s extra points, kind of.
3:18 I did see some research, I mean, unless you’re an adolescent, I think they said that maybe you need more cognitive development to be able to have the effects of the gratitude, but if you tell somebody that you are grateful for them or something they did, that also really makes you feel a lot better.
3:34 So expressing your gratitude to someone else is super helpful.
3:39 And you know what, if you’re not there yet, just thinking it, like really just taking the time to acknowledge when something makes you feel happy or good or...
3:48 It can be so small, okay?
3:50 It doesn’t have to be a huge thing.
3:51 So try to be a bit more grateful than just that one minute around the Thanksgiving table where you don’t listen anyone else and awkwardly try and think of something to say and you just say family.
4:04 At least, that’s what I seem to see happening quite a bit.
4:07 So gratitude, Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for you.
4:11 What are you thankful for?