Gratitude has evolutionary roots and is one of the earliest modes of human communication. We have strong instincts to communicate and understand that emotion. The language of gratitude is pre-verbal. Given these deep roots of gratitude, it should perhaps come as no surprise that it is associated with striking health benefits. In many studies grateful people report fewer symptoms of illness, are less bothered by aches and pains, enjoy better sleep quality, and have stronger immune systems. This is true not only among people who are naturally grateful but among those whom researchers prompted to feel more gratitude over time. As they became more grateful, their health seemed to improve. People who have high levels of gratitude show lower resting blood pressure and are less reactive to stressful events; they show fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease - they have higher levels of good cholesterol, lower levels of bad cholesterol - and lower levels of creatinine, indicating strong kidney function. (Info from greatergood.berkeley.edu)
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