We know gratitude can help us stay mentally and emotionally healthy, but recent research is proving choosing gratitude can protect your heart from stress.
A study from Baylor University1 compared the cardiovascular response to acute psychological stress in people with differing levels of state gratitude (i.e., gratitude at the moment). Results showed that those with greater state gratitude were protected from the spike in blood pressure that accompanies psychological stress. In other words, those who were feeling more present-moment gratitude were less affected by a stressful situation.
Although we can’t choose how our bodies respond to stressful situations, we can make choices about the attitude and perspective we adopt, which can help to mitigate those automatic responses. Take a break during a stressful moment, when possible, to focus on ways you feel grateful, and contribute to your overall heart health.
Gratitude Action Step
When you face a stressful situation over the next few days, remember that choosing to be grateful in the moment can protect you from the negative effects of that stress. Decide to feel grateful, even if only in that particular moment, and your heart will thank you!
10 Easy Ways to Show Your Gratitude
Since research shows choosing gratitude can protect your heart from stress, here’s 10 easy ways to show it:
1. Be an active listener
Show you gratitude to others by really listening to what they have to say.
2. Give out compliments
Make someone’s day by giving out compliments on little things like a great shirt, a nice smile, or on a job well done.
3. Make eye contact
When interacting with people, make eye contact and show you are really present in the conversation.
4. Give a detailed example of appreciation
Let someone know exactly why you are grateful to have them in your life by citing an example of things they have done or said on your behalf.
5. Be thoughtful of others
While you must take care of you, it is important to also think of others first. Consider someone else’s feelings with every action and word.
6. Volunteer for unpleasant tasks
Offer to do a chore or errand. By doing these tasks for someone you make their day easier.
7. Give a hug
Make a true connection with those you love and are grateful to have in your life by giving hugs when greeting, saying goodbye, or saying thanks.
8. Just be there
Spend time with others especially during difficult times and just be there without your phone and other distractions.
9. Be gracious when challenged
When someone challenges your actions or words, still show grace by listening to what they say and being polite. You never really know what someone else might be going through so don’t take their actions personally and show them kindness (even if it’s really hard to do).
10. Offer congratulations
When someone you know is celebrating an achievement, offer your sincere congratulations even if you are not the winner.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
-John F. Kennedy
LotusRain Naturopathic and IV Clinic is located in San Diego, CA. Please visit us HERE.