FROM NPR | Gratitude Is Good For The Soul And Helps The Heart, Too

Buddhism has been teaching loving kindness meditation for hundreds of years.

In the course of my career, I have had the pleasure of sharing the powerful HeartMath techniques for generating gratitude for health with hundreds of my clients. It’s nice to see research affirming that the practice of gratitude leads to measurable improvements in heart health, like less inflammation and smoother heart rhythms. — Karden Rabin, Founder, Boundless

As we launch into Thanksgiving week, consider this: Research shows that feeling grateful doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps — literally helps — the heart.

A positive mental attitude is good for your heart. It fends off depression, stress and anxiety, which can increase the risk of heart disease, says Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Mills specializes in disease processes and has been researching behavior and heart health for decades. He wondered if the very specific feeling of gratitude made a difference, too.

So he did a study. He recruited 186 men and women, average age 66, who already had some damage to their heart, either through years of sustained high blood pressure or as a result of heart attack or even an infection of the heart itself. They each filled out a standard questionnaire to rate how grateful they felt for the people, places or things in their lives.

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