Four Benefits of Connecting to Gratitude for Older Adults

November 19, 2022

Diversus Health reports that practicing gratitude means: making the conscious habit of expressing appreciation regularly for big and small things. Each November, we are reminded that it is imperative to be grateful for all we have. What about the rest of the year? Reports state that gratitude makes you feel better and can scientifically improve your health. Gratitude can also improve relationships, support memory, and can even help alleviate anxiety. Residents in senior living homes, such as Beacon Crest Senior Living, often find the care they receive helps bring them into a state of constant gratitude. Living with a caring staff, eating nutritious meals, and experiencing fun events with friends improve the lives of older adults. We have included a few benefits that arise when practicing gratitude.

Did you know that gratitude can improve your health? Studies have shown thinking grateful thoughts can lower your blood pressure and improve sleep. Some have found that feelings of positivity help inspire an overall experience of well-being. Gratefulness can also inspire individuals to exercise.  Patients were more apt to increase their exercise regime due to motivation. Reports link journaling to being more mindful of positive feelings while reminding us why we are grateful.
Did you know that being grateful for the little things can affect the big things like your personal relationships? Positive Psychology reports that gratitude can improve romantic relationships, create a broader social network, and improve friendships. During stressful times it can strengthen familial relationships and protect children from anxiety. When communicating about the many things you are grateful for, this state can create a reciprocal energy that is trustworthy, loving, and appreciative.  Gratitude improves your relationship with yourself and others.
Scientists created a study that measured the brain activity of people experiencing gratitude. The study found “that gratitude causes synchronized activation in multiple brain regions.” Gratefulness activates the hippocampus and amygdala, which regulate emotion and memory. Alleviating stress and negative thoughts through gratitude allows the brain’s reward system to have a positive effect on the body. This practice will ultimately create space for improved memory function.
The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center of UCLA released a study that gratitude changes the neural structures in the brain. It creates a feeling of happiness and triggers positive hormones that help regulate the immune system. Psychologically speaking, gratitude helps the brain focus on positive thoughts and guards against negative thought patterns. On a neurobiological point, the sympathetic nervous system that monitors anxiety responses is regulated with gratitude. Residents of senior living homes find it easier to connect to the gratitude attitude when their daily worries are alleviated.
Picture of Amber Sorgato
Amber Sorgato