A Grateful Heart Is A Healthy Heart
That is the takeaway from new research that finds that recognizing and giving thanks for the positive aspects of life can boost mental and physical health of heart patients.
The study, published in the journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice, is the latest to spotlight a mind-body connection in heart health.
“We found that more gratitude in [heart failure] patients was associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue, and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers related to cardiac health,” said lead researcher Paul J. Mills, Professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California-San Diego.
The study involved 186 men and women diagnosed with asymptomatic heart failure for at least 3 months. Using standard psychological tests, the researchers rated the patients’ levels of gratitude and spiritual well-being, based on interviews, and found those with higher scores had better mood, higher quality sleep, more self-efficacy, and less inflammation tied to heart risks.
“We found that spiritual well-being was associated with better mood and sleep, but it was the gratitude aspect of spirituality that accounted for those effects, not spirituality per se,” said Prof. Mills.
“It seems that a more grateful heart is indeed a more healthy heart, and that gratitude journaling is an easy way to support cardiac health.”
Have a terrific weekend.