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Community Health Network encourages practicing gratitude during stressful moments

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Community Health Network is encouraging families to practice gratitude during stressful moments and around the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day.

Social worker Jennie Voelker said gratitude is a combination of joy, appreciation and pleasure, adding there’s science behind the simple act.

Voelker explained that sharing gratitude feels good and it brings on biological changes.

Gratitude can combat depression, stress and anxiety. It can improve sleep, connect with people better and decrease inflammation in the body.

“It activates a part of our nervous system called the Vagus nerve. It’s this nerve that wonders to our body from our brain and this nerve helps us to move from the stress response, that fight or flight, to the calming and balanced response,” Voelker said. “We’re activating that nerve while we share or experience gratitude.”

The social worker also mentioned saying or writing what you’re thankful for is an important part of the process and can ultimately improve positivity.