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The Many Gifts of Gratitude

Article by By Susan Stiles, PhD, National Council on Aging

“Gratitude is getting a lot of airplay these days … and for good reason.

The upsides to expressing gratitude are many. Studies have shown that gratitude has a uniquely powerful relationship with health and well-being, both our own and of those around us.

When people have higher levels of gratitude, they tend to have lower levels of depression, better sleep quality, and stronger biomarkers, such as higher rates of good cholesterol. In addition, they are better able to handle stress and are more socially connected.

Gratitude encourages us to focus on what is rather than what is not, to think carefully about what we have and can be thankful for, rather than what we don’t have (and maybe do not even need). In this way, gratitude is closely associated with mindfulness. In NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program®, we’ve put gratitude and mindfulness front and center, and combined them as one of our six dimensions of aging well.”

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