Thankfulness Leads to Longevity – Find Gratitude in the New Year

Gratitude and thankfulness are excellent medicine for lasting longevity
Gratitude is excellent medicine
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Research is showing when you have an attitude of gratitude you are healthier and live longer. Gratitude reduces toxic emotions; from envy and resentment to regrets and frustration. Grateful people have more self-esteem.

Holding grudges is like swallowing a poison pill and waiting and watching for the other person to die. Grudges raise cortisol, the stress hormone and adrenalin which is like a fire alarm in our bodies. It eats up the lining of our stomach and reduces our “happiness levels.”

Grateful people exercise more often and tend to go for annual physicals. Both of these help with longevity.

Kindness, sharing, generosity, trust and gratitude all help raise our “happy hormone” endorphins. These are what helped early men and women survive in groups during adverse conditions.

I encourage people to be grateful for all that they have and may have had, and to enjoy this visit on the planet. As my friend Dr. Leah Houston told me: “It ain’t no dress rehearsal,” enjoy it the first time around.

Lastly, New Year’s resolutions should focus on health, wealth, sharing, gratitude and the time to enjoy it.

My friend Dr. Magdalena Swierczewski reminded me to share with all to have an annual physical and bloodwork because health is the greatest wealth.

And finally, take time to laugh as my comedian friend and former Ms. New York, Michele McDonald told me, “Laughter is the best medicine sometimes.”

Think positive and test negative.

Peter Michalos, MD is an FAAO board-certified ophthalmologist, clinical associate professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Southampton resident.