Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks Can be Good for You!

Thanksgiving is now upon us! What do we think of when we think of Thanksgiving?




Ha, ha, that's pretty funny...it goes right with my last post about wanting to get more into being healthy...


Being with family is always good for the soul. Did you know that according to a study of over 21,000 Denmark parents, they found that being a parent (especially a mom) lowers your chances of dying from cancer, accidents and circulatory disease?

According to some research from Brigham Young University (my alma mater),  having a sister is good for your mental health. That's great news, because I have two wonderful sisters, and my husband has FOUR!
Talking with your mom lowers stress..WOOOHOOO! I talk to my mom almost everyday...even though we are 14 hours away from each other. I love technology sometimes!  According to health.com, talking on the phone with Mom seemed to decrease stress hormones and increase the feel-good chemical, oxytocin among young girls (ages 7-12). Guess what? I believe it helps us girls over the age of 50 too :)

Okay, I could go on and on about how wonderful it is to be with family...I found some of this info at this website if you would like to learn some more about how family can be beneficial for your health.

So, let's move on to the food.....

The typical Thanksgiving dinner consists of 

Mashed potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
Dressing or stuffing
more butter
Pumpkin pie

Okay...I'm going to stop right there. As you can see, Thanksgiving dinner is NOT the healthiest meal on the planet. I know, it's only once a year...Oh, WAIT! We have Christmas soon after, not to mention all the parties with all kinds of yummy, not good for you food during the time from Halloween to New Years. Now, I am not saying NOT to eat this stuff...just needs to be in moderation.

Enough said about that...let's get to FOOTBALL!!!!!  We all enjoy sitting around, after our wonderful dinner of Thanksgiving, to rest and watch football. But, you know what would be better? Go for a walk...a family walk! OR...if the weather is nice how about a family bike ride...humm?

How about a Turkey Bowl? We've lived many places throughout the United States, and several of these areas have actually hosted an early morning football scrimmage, called a Turkey Bowl. It's usually our church family that does this. Seems like someone always gets hurt though, so we do need to be careful.

So, now for the spiritual part of this. This is the time of year we tend to focus on thanksgiving and being grateful. I know, myself, I've been posting the things I am "thankful" for on my facebook during November, but did you know studies have shown that it's healthy to be grateful?

Robert Emmons is a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis. Through his research, he has found that those who have a permanent "attitude of gratitude," gain a lot of good health benefits from this.

Taking better care of themselves, and engaging in better health maintenance, exercising more, eating healthier, having a better mental alertness, coping with stress better, feeling more optimistic, having a better immune system, looking at the future in a more positive manner, are just some of the benefits of grateful people.

I've been going to church for many years. One thing I have learned by doing so, is to be grateful and to realize my blessings. Sure, bad things happen, but I have tried to remember that it can always be worse. Each day, I pray, and study my scriptures and write in my journal. There have been times that I have slacked in this area, but lately, I've been doing pretty good. I know this is why I have been able to handle some of the things going on right now in a more positive manner.

So, just to end this, I hope that all of us strive for a better life through being happier, looking on the bright side, eating healthier, exercising, and just being plain GRATEFUL.

To sum it up, I would like to share a quote I saw today with you...

"It's not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy..."

Happy Thanksgiving!

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