“Gratefulness has long been heralded as a virtue essential for health and well-being.”

Posted March 18th, 2010 by Steve Alexander

That quote is from Dr. Mimi Guarneri’s book, “The Heart Speaks.” If you haven’t read it, get it today. It came as a promotional on my new e-Reader and I thought, I’ll give it a try. Dr G, as she’s referred to by most of her patients, is a specialist in stents, however, more importantly, has uncovered and shares secrets that all of us can use in our lives every day.

She goes on to write, “Research now suggests that it [gratefulness] also allows people to deal better with stress, causing them to be more optimistic, which seems to boost immune function.” Now, how can you argue with those “side effects” from taking the time in your own life to take stock, identify something or someone to be thankful for, and get a little immunity protection along the way?

Oh, and on optimism, try this on for size: “In one study, patients who described themselves as highly optimistic had lower risks of all-cause death and lower rates of cardiovascular death than those with high levels of pessimism.” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get that in capsule form as well as tablets? Take one capsule of optimism three times a day with each meal!

So, why do we focus so much on the negative in our lives? What keeps us from being optimistic and grateful? Her book provides numerous patient profiles as well as studies and statistics that will give you insights and answers. For anyone committed to healthy living (emotionally and physically!), you really should check it out. As in an earlier post I wrote, there’s really not a lot of effort in noticing the good in others, taking the time to be thankful for even the small things that come into our lives each day.

We just need that daily reminder (in capsule or tablet form!) that the alternative can be very costly to our physical health. So, share a smile with someone when you’re done reading this post today; pick up the phone and re-connect with an old friend or family member; thank a co-worker for something that usually goes unnoticed. It’s contagious, infectious and healthy.

Our attitudes really do shape our health and wellness. “The Heart Speaks” will stimulate your thinking and, hopefully, your behavior, so that each day makes a difference in your and someone else’s life. And if that makes your heart healthier, how can you lose?

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