When we enjoy Thanksgiving every year, we think of all the yummy food, watching sports with family and all the trimmings that come with a holiday. But Thanksgiving in its namesake is truly the time of year to give thanks and to be especially grateful for life’s many blessings.
At Herfindahl Chiropractic we encourage you to make expressing gratitude a part of your daily life throughout the year, not just at Thanksgiving because expressing gratitude has a huge positive effect on your physical and mental health.
Dr. Herfindahl strongly advocates the Chiropractic Lifestyle which is a way of life that is rooted in disease prevention through healthy life choices and regular chiropractic care. One part of a healthy life choice, includes having positive thinking to support physical health. Research shows that having gratitude and appreciation has a direct effect on your sleep, overall well-being, depression and disease.
A study was conducted on gratitude and what effects it had on emotional and physical well-being. People were asked to write in a journal their troubles, where another wrote everything they were grateful for, while a third group wrote neutral events. And as you can guess, the group that wrote down what they were thankful for, improved their physical and mental states significantly. In fact, many therapists use this technique with their patients to help reverse depression. Mind and body connections are integral to health. When you become aware of what you are thankful for, suddenly the world looks more blessed than you realized. This boosts your immune system as well.
The brain makes a synapse wiring of thoughts. If you focus on what is always wrong, those patterns get reinstated in the neural pathways of the brain. If, however, if you focus on positive thoughts, and what you are thankful for, you can also wire your brain to be positive. Noting what you are thankful for daily, helps to reaffirm that positive outlook. This tackles depression and disease in the body. However negative thoughts can cause a “chronic stress response” in the body. This response can contribute to diseases like coronary artery disease, as well as create stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, which can cause other illnesses.
You can start by creating a “thankful” journal, where you write down what you are thankful for daily. If you can only write down one thing at first, at least it is a start. It could be as simple as “I am thankful for hot water”. As you get comfortable with the process, you will find more and more things to be thankful for. In fact, this practice is so effective, it has completely turned around depression in patients. This is why this exercise is a big deal.
So, this Thanksgiving, give a gift of thanks. While getting together with family, ask each person what they are thankful for. Suggest this be a daily occurrence, and see how this thankfulness can spread to others. And don’t forget to share with others that you are thankful for them. Receiving thankfulness from others boosts positive thoughts and reinforces healing in others. Being thankful to each other boosts mental and physical health in the giver and the receiver. It is a win win interaction!
With that said, we at Herfindahl Chiropractic want to give a big thanks to all of you. We feel very blessed to have amazing patients that have become part of our chiropractic family! We are grateful and appreciate each and everyone of you. Thank you for that cherished gift.
Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving