When You’re Feeling Blue, Bring On The Gratitude.  How Being Grateful Actually Boosts Your Immune System.

It’s Thanksgiving 2020.  Whew… what a year.  We know most of you have had a challenging time with everything going on with flu season, the election, life and now the holidays.  I say when you’re feeling blue, bring on the gratitude.  

You may be giving me the raspberries because you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be thankful for.  Money may be tight, things are uncertain, your kids are bouncing of the walls because they can’t be kids and attend school, you and your spouse are fighting because of all the stress and you’ve basically just had freaking ENOUGH. So you ask, “how are you supposed to be thankful with all of this?”  

Yeah, I’m still seeing you sticking your tongue out at me or maybe even shooting me the bird. That’s ok.  If it helps to relieve some stress or give you a giggle… have at it.

So gratitude.  Yes gratitude.  Did you know gratitude strengthens the immune system?  And get this, medical studies now confirm that our immune system flourishes, with higher numbers of blood cells, in response to positive emotions like optimism. And since grateful people are optimistic by nature, they directly experience this effect.

When you are a grateful person - one who perceives gratitude permanently rather than just randomly - you have an edge on those who are not so grateful when it comes to health and well being, according to research on gratitude.

Grateful people tend to take better care of themselves, participate in regular exercise, and eating right.  Plus they experience additional benefits as listed below.

Gratitude Is A Stress Buster

Stress can make you sick.  Period!  Especially when you have a hard time coping with stress.  Stress is linked to several leading causes of death such as heart disease and cancer.  Gratitude can help you manage your stress. How? Research is showing feelings of thankfulness have a huge positive value in helping people deal with day to day problems and especially stress.

Gratitude Is A Immune Booster

People who are grateful tend to be more positive thinkers, a characteristic researchers are saying boosts the immune system. "There are some very interesting studies linking optimism to better immune function," says Lisa Aspinwall, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Utah. 

In one, researchers comparing the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress found that, by midterm, students characterized as optimistic (based on survey responses) maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates.

Being optimistic has positive results with those who have compromised health issues such as AIDS, cancer or those with impending surgeries as well.

How do you “do” gratitude?

  • Create a gratitude journal.  Start documenting each day what you are grateful for each day.  Even if the day wasn’t so great, really think about something you were grateful for that day, even it was just a “rock start” parking space or someone let you in a lane you needed to be in on the freeway.  Research shows that those who keep gratitude journals exercise more, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.

  • Start a list of all the benefits in your life.  Your spouse, your kids, your dog or cat, job, etc.  Even it’s something you would normally take for granted or think of as insignificant, add it to the list.

  • When challenging things do happen, stop, breathe and take a moment to see if there is anything good that can come out of the situation. For example, having to deal with a difficult co-worker can teach you how to up your patience, understanding and forgiveness game.  Or how to draw boundaries.

  • Look at situations differently.  Say the checkout line at the store is long and you are so aggravated, impatient and stressed out.  Instead think that maybe the line is long so as to save you from traffic or maybe even avoiding an accident.  Maybe things are happening “to” you, but happening “for” you.
  • Make a gratitude jar. Keep an empty jar, paper and a pen somewhere convenient in your home or office. Write on a piece of paper one thing that they're grateful for every day and drop it in the jar. You can get the whole family to participate.  Even have fun with it. Then a couple times a week, take out a few of the notes and read them out loud.  

The goal with all of these is make gratitude second nature in your thinking.  Eventually you will find gratitude in even the little things and you’ll learn how to do this throughout the day.

Exercising your gratitude muscle, along with healthy eating, taking your supplements such as Allimax, Allimed or AlliUltra and managing your stress are all ways to boost your immune system which ultimately helps protect you from colds, flus and viruses this holiday season.

Still not convinced being grateful and implementing these gratitude enhancing tools can improve your health and overall well being?  Just give it a try.  After all it is Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us at Allimax.us!

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