Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Give Thanks – Stress Less

Thanksgiving Day reminds us to give thanks. Have you heard the quote, “It’s not the happy people who are thankful, it is the thankful people who are happy?” That’s powerful to ponder.

In her book, Attitudes of Gratitude, M.J. Ryan shares how gratitude can improve our lives. She shares research that indicates people who practice gratitude on a daily basis are happier, healthier, and more effective in the world. Benefits include reduced stress, reduced depression, improved optimism and immune function, improved sleep, and improved heart rhythms.

This year, why not make gratitude a daily practice for better health? Start a gratitude journal and include a few items at the beginning and end of each day. There are many beautiful journals available and they make great Christmas presents.

As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013, 60-80% of primary care doctor visits are related to stress, yet only 3% of patients receive stress management help. During this holiday season, many turn to food to manage stress. With the availability of extra sweets and rich food, this leads to undesired weight gain.

Join us on December 1st at the WMHS auditorium from 5:30-7:00 pm, for a program entitled “Say Good-bye to Stress Eating.” Presented by therapist, Sara Evans, LPC, NCC, NCGC1 and Outpatient Community Dietitian, Theresa Stahl, RDN, LDN, this practical session will identify trigger points of stress, identify the relationship between nutrition and stress, and help participants gain a perspective on stress eating to see the bigger picture and exchange negative habits for positive ones. For more information, call Theresa Stahl at 240-964-8416 or email at

Hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and hope to see you on Tuesday, December 1st.