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  1. 3 Benefits of Being Thankful All Year Long

    November 20, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    It's Thanksgiving Week here in the United States, and in the midst of prepping to travel, welcome arriving family and friends, and/or cook up an epic holiday feast, gratitude is foremost on everyone's mind. But gratefulness should be a priority year-round. In fact, science even says that it can improve your overall health -- something that's especially important for sickle cell warriors. Here are three benefits of maintaining that spirit of thankfulness all 365 days.

    1) It can reduce anxiety and depression.
    When crises occur, it can be difficult to keep a positive outlook. And while finding something to be thankful for during times of pain, worry, and sadness can seem almost impossible, working hard at doing just that has been proven to actually rewire your brain, leading to more feelings of happiness in general.

    2) It can improve your immune system.
    As a sickle cell warrior, keeping your immune system as healthy as possible is paramount to avoiding illnesses, such as the flu, as complications requiring hospitalization can arise much more easily than in people without SCD. One recent study by researchers at the University of Utah and the University of Kentucky found that people who consider themselves to be optimistic actually had more disease-fighting cells in their bodies.

    3) It can make you more resilient.
    Being thankful helps lessen cortisol levels caused by stress and also helps people become better able to surmount traumatic obstacles in their lives. According to Forbes, a 2006 study revealed that "Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."

    To discover even more ways expressing gratitude is good for you, check out this infographic created by CBS News.

    How do you plan to practice thankfulness this holiday season and beyond? Tell us in the comments below!

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