November has proved to be a difficult month for everyone for various reasons, therefore, with this letter I'd like to talk about being thankful and grateful. Two emotions that may be difficult to feel or express right now but especially given the season, are important to work on cultivating for your health.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Thankful is: glad something has or has not happened, that something or someone exists, of, relating to or giving thanks, well pleased. Find time in the next few days to really take a good look at what you have in your life. It may not be everything you want but it very well may be more than many can say they have. You can be thankful for anything from people and pets to material possessions (By the way, that's ok! You probably worked hard for, worked hard for or created them!). Then slowly dig deeper into your surrounds, your past and present. You may be surprised by what you find that you can be deeply thankful for.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Grateful is: feeling or showing thanks, feeling or showing thanks to someone for some helpful act, appreciative benefits received, expressing gratitude (thanks), affording pleasure or contentment, pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated. Now, I think both of these two concepts are very similar. In your search to find what your thankful for you'll start to find that your also grateful. This is good! Gratitude is a powerful and healing emotion!
To help clear up any confusion, the Cambridge Dictionary explains that: we use the word grateful to talk about how we feel when someone is kind to us or does us a favor and we use the word thankful when we are relieved that something pleasant happen or something unpleasant or dangerous didn't happen.
Research has time and again shown that thankfulness and gratitude have definite mental and physical health benefits! Psychology Today reports 7 scientifically proven benefits of feeling and expressing these two emotions. (Gratitude has been studied more but I believe thankfulness is it's close partner!)
- Gratitude opens the door to more quality relationships
- Gratitude improves physical health
- Gratitude improves psychological health
- Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- Gratitude improves self-esteem
- Gratitude increases mental strength
- Grateful people sleep better
You can find many more health benefits online or within yourself. The above listed are the ones proven to occur. Reflect on your life as it has been, is and where it's going to find what you are thankful and grateful for. If it's hard right now, that's ok! Keep trying! If we all continue to be more kind, love harder and instill thankfulness and gratitude daily, our list will grow and the world will be a better place for us all!
At the same time we are in the season of thanks and gratitude, we are in the season of giving. Show your thanks and gratitude to those you care about by giving them the gift of healthcare! You will also be showing me your thanks and gratitude as my patients are my livelihood! Call or email us to find out how to get treatment for your loved ones!