Talk about easy—no pushups, no cardio, no rabbit-food diet. All it takes to give your heart a healthy boost is a little bit of gratitude.
Researchers at UC San Diego asked 186 individuals who’d had Stage B heart failure for at least three months to fill out questionnaires measuring indicators like spiritual and emotional well-being (including how thankful subjects generally felt), depressive symptoms, sleep quality, fatigue, and inflammatory markers.
Results showed that those who felt and expressed the most gratitude also experienced happier moods, slept better, were less tired, and had less cellular inflammation—all of which improved their prognosis for dealing with heart disease.
“Gratitude supports our well-being by shifting our attention from endless self-focused rumination to connecting with the world around us,” says lead author Paul J. Mills, Ph.D.