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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gratitude Leads to Health and Happiness

Just a few statistics about gratitude:

  • 69% of us are grateful when something unexpected that is good happens
  • 62 % of us are grateful for their children and family
  • 52% are regularly grateful to God
  • 49% try to feel gratitude everyday for something simple like a sunset.
  • 16% say it takes something out of the ordinary for them to feel gratful.

Gender Differences

It is a bit tougher for men to feel grateful:
  • 52% of women express gratitude on a regular basis vs. 44% of men

Life Benefits

What can gratitude do for you?
It can:
  • Help you win new friends. Thanking someone for help increase the chances they will want an on-going reletionship with you.
  • It makes you less aggressive. When you are grateful your more empathetic with others.
  • It increases your self-esteem. You will be less likely to compare yourself to others.
  • You will see an increase in your resilence and mental strength.
  • Can help you to see your internal resources are more abundant than you thought.

Health Benefits

  • Grateful people are less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs
  • Men and women with heart disease who practiced gratitude showed significant improvements in heart health.
  • In a study of character strengths, gratitude was found to be the greatest indicator of well-being.

Gratitude and Attitude

  • Research shows appreciating what we have prongs grater positivity and life satisfaciton.
  • Materialistic people are more likely to be depressed and unsatisfied because they have a hard time being grateful for what they have.
  • People who are more grateful are more likely to demonstrate self control. This helps them to make better decisions regarding healthy eating, smoking, avoiding impulse purchases and saving money.

Gratitude and Love

If you say thank you more your could have a better love life. It will make you feel better and saying thank you to your partner will make you feel more connected. They express gratitude to you creating a nice feedback loop.

Improving Happiness

Shawn Achor author of "The Happiness Advantage" suggests the following ways to increase happiness:
  • Write down three things you are grateful for that occurred over the last 24 hours
  • Spend 2 minutes writing down every detail about one positive experience that happened in the last day.
  • Do at least 15 minutes of a fun cardio activity.
  • Meditate every day for two minutes by stopping what you are doing and concentrating on your breathing.
  • At the start of every day send a short message praising someone you know.
Here are some other suggestions:
  • Put visual reminders around f things you are grateful for. I saw a blogger that took a picture every day of things she was grateful for. I could see posting these on pinterest.  You could have pictures of your loved ones or pictures of a great trip.
  • Think of an everyday object and spend a few minutes thinking about all the things you appreciate about it.
  • Think about something in your life you are grateful for and then be grateful for everyone that made that happen. For instance think about your house. Be grateful for all the people responsible for making that happen; the architect, the builder, roofers, carpenters, landscapers, the real estate agent, the people that put in the road, water and electricity.
  • Make it a family practise for each person at dinner to talk about something good that happened that day or something they are grateful for. You could also do this as you tuck in your kids at night.
  • Keep a gratitude jar. Every day I put down 3-4 good things that happened to me or things I am grateful for. I put them on a post-it note and put them in the gratitude jar in the picture at the top of this post. The jar gets really full and is a great reminder of everything good in our lives.
  • Get a bit more sleep each day. Aim for 7 to 8 hours. Most of us do not get enough.
  • Make kindness and giving to others a part of your life.
  • Take time away from your computer, phone, Kindle and iPad.
  • Visit web sites that deal with happiness
Take some time to try some on these strategies and find something that works for you.  There are so many benefits for us and those around us when we practise gratitude.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 183 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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