To improve your health, practice gratitude
A daily gratitude practice has been shown to significantly increase your happiness — and your physical health. Practicing gratitude improves sleep, boosts immunity and decreases the risk of disease.
Ever wish there were a magic pill you could take to boost your energy levels, improve your mood, help you sleep better, increase your kindness and even help you make more money? Unfortunately, no such pill exists, but there is a way you can reap these benefits — without a visit to the doctor's office.
The secret? A daily gratitude practice. Indeed, counting your blessings each day has been shown to significantly increase your happiness — and your physical health. In addition to helping you get more sleep, practicing gratitude can boost your immunity and decrease your risk of disease.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Write in a gratitude journal every day. Jot down quick notes. They can be as simple as something funny one of your children did or a kind gesture from a stranger at the grocery store. Any positive thoughts or actions count, no matter how small.
- Use gratitude cues. Any new habit needs reminders, and cues are a great way to stay on course. Keep photos visible of things or people that make you happy. Post positive notes or inspirational quotes on the fridge or by your computer to reinforce feelings of gratitude.
- Make a gratitude jar. Keep an empty jar, scratch paper and a pen in an accessible place at home. Ask family members to write on a piece of paper one thing that they're grateful for every day and drop it in the jar. Encourage them to be funny. During dinner or leisure time, take a few of the notes out of the jar and enjoy reading one another's thoughts.
The goal is to move your mind from thinking about gratitude occasionally to making it second nature. Eventually, you'll lower your gratitude threshold so that you're grateful for little things — and you'll learn how to sprinkle a little gratitude throughout your day.
- Think of one thing or person you're grateful for when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night.
- Use meditation as an opportunity to practice gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to close your eyes, breathe in and out slowly, and focus your mind on positive thoughts.
- Feeling uninspired at work? Find one thing you're grateful for about your job each day. It can be as simple as appreciating lunch with a friendly colleague.
Influenza Season is upon us!
Influenza Season is upon us! The flu is a deadly virus and it is important to know the facts about how to prevent it, how to keep from spreading it (if you weren't successful in preventing it), and what you can do to stay healthy.
JCHC uses various websites for informational purposes. We trust the CDC (National Centers for Disease Control), and several other sites. JCHC will only send you to sites that give sound medical advice that our doctors use.
Below is a link to good information from the CDC.
November is National Diabetes Month
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream, which over time can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but healthy lifestyle habits, taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education, and keeping appointments with your health care team can greatly reduce its impact on your life.
Diabetes by the Numbers
- 30.3 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it.
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US.
- Diabetes is the No. 1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness.
- In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripledas the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
With Type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Most people with diabetes—9 in 10—have type 2 diabetes. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (though increasingly in children, teens, and young adults). You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight if you’re overweight, healthy eating, and getting regular physical activity.
Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health complications. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to become obese as a child or teen, and more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life too.
In the US, 84.1 million adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. But through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, you can learn practical, real-life changes that can cut your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% (71% if you’re 60 or older)
JCHC has a Registered Nurse who does Diabetic Education for those who need more information about this complicated disease. Call 684-6139 to schedule a meeting with Karen Sullivan.