November 26th, 2008
02:49 PM ET

Doctors say 'giving thanks' good for your body

Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

Every day I wake up and thank God for another day. It’s not a big ceremony. It’s just something I do to calm my soul. I am a blessed person and I feel it’s important to acknowledge that fact.

When I was a little girl, my parents made sure I always said “Thank you” for the things I was given. I never took anything for granted. A kind word, a small token, I was always appreciative. Even as an adult I keep “Thank you” notes in my desk, ready to send to those who have looked out for me, or been there when I needed them most.

Doctors say giving thanks, taking the time to notice positive things in your life is not only good for your psyche but it’s good for your body. University of California at Davis researchers found that practicing gratitude can lower your blood pressure and make you feel less hostile. Grateful people are less angry, less negative and usually look for the cup half full. Studies by Cornell University researchers have shown that those who are thankful appear to have lower risks of developing phobias, alcoholism, even depression. They even have stronger immune systems.


Filed under: Medical News
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Heather,ca

    I agree with that. I think people that are able to recognize what is really important in life and acknowledge that have healthy mental perspective on things. They are grateful and appreciate and know that they are lucky and that things could be worse. We live in a world much of the time focused on things. Things dont bring happines they are just things. How many flat screen tvs does one need in their home? The latest gadget virsus financial security when you need it. We live in a country where if you work hard your dreams can come true. Im grateful to be born here and grateful to have a home when many do not. I will be thinking about all those less fortunate.

    November 26, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  2. Stanice Anderson

    Some days, I don't feel grateful at all; but I thank God anyway. I give thanks for what I have and what I don't have. I have a job in these trying times. I don't have cancer. I call it a sacrifice of thanksgiving. A day that I woke up dreading is transfigured into a day saturated with joy and hope.

    November 26, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  3. Cindy

    Giving thanks does make you a much happier person. I thank God every day for everything that He has given me. Focusing on what you have instead of what you don't makes you less stressed.

    I also think thanking others and giving them a little smile makes them feel great and boosts their spirits also.

    Nothing like spreading a little cheer!


    November 26, 2008 at 2:06 pm |

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