Eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising, and reducing your stress levels are all good for your heart--especially if your ticker is damaged from years of high blood pressure or an infection. Now you can add counting blessings to the list of heart-healthy moves.
A study done by Dr. Paul Mills, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Medicine, found that people who were more grateful for the things in their lives--be it their pets, their jobs, or their children--could actually REVERSE heart disease and lower their chance of heart attacks. To prove this, he took 40 people with damaged hearts; half kept gratitude journals, half did not.
At the end of two months, those people who'd taken the time on most days to write down the two or three things they were thankful for were healthier. They had lowered their levels of inflammation and their risk of heart attacks.
How? Dr. Mills thinks being thankful reduces your stress levels, a big factor in heart disease. So if you only count blessings during Thanksgiving, try downloading a gratitude app (Google the term and you'll find plenty--even free ones). Or just try thinking of one or two things you're grateful for before you go to sleep. The more you give thanks, the stronger the habit becomes. And the healthier your heart--and soul--will be.