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Giving Thanks Does Your Body Good

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November 25th, 2022

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Focusing on gratitude has become a growing trend in recent years,1 and for good reason. There’s a lot of stress, illness and unhappiness in the world, and gratitude is an effective remedy for all of these — and it’s free. For example, research shows that gratitude:2,3,4,5

Alters your brain in a number of beneficial ways — Examples include triggering release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters6 such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and oxytocin; inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol; and stimulating your hypothalamus (a brain area involved in the regulation of stress) and your ventral tegmental area (part of your brain’s reward circuitry that produces pleasurable feelings)7
Increases happiness and life satisfaction8,9
Lowers stress and emotional distress
Improves emotional resiliency10
Reduces symptoms of depression11,12
Reduces pain
Lowers inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines
Lowers blood sugar
Improves immune function13
Lowers blood pressure
Improves heart health,14 reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease

Lowers risk for heart disease15,16

Improves general health by encouraging self-care17,18
Improves sleep19
Improves interpersonal relationships20
Boosts productivity21

Reduces materialism22 and increases generosity,23 both of which can increase happiness and life satisfaction

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