Every Day is Thanksgiving Day
Eckhart von Hochheim, Meister Eckhart, was a 13th century German theologian, philosopher, and mystic. Among other wise sayings, he is known for his pronouncement that “if the only prayer you ever say is ‘Thank You,’ it’s enough.”
The benefits of gratitude have been of major importance not only in Christianity, but in virtually every world religion for a very long time. It’s not just religions; even in the mid-years of the Roman Empire, Cicero proclaimed gratitude to be the ‘mother’ of all human feelings. Can multi-billions of people be wrong?
So, to whom or what are you thankful? Of course, Christians and others would say you are thankful to God, if only because you can “enter His gates with thanksgiving.” Others, less mindful of a deity, might give thanks to those people that help you in your life. And still others ignore the whom-or-what, and simply acknowledge that there is more to life than oneself.
Oh no, Bob, you’re going all theological on us again! Actually no. What I’m doing is exploring the rich abundance of research that shows the psychological and physical benefits of gratitude.
What has Science Confirmed?
In simple summary, gratitude enhances your life…bigtime.
Personality: Gratitude makes you more optimistic, less materialistic, more spiritual, and less self-centered. All of this increases your self-esteem.
Health: Gratitude improves your physiological functioning by boosting your immune system, your recovery from medical procedures, and helps you better deal with terminal conditions. You’ll feel less pain, have lower blood pressure, and see your doctor a lot less.
Emotional: Gratitude makes you more resilient, more relaxed, and less envious. You will have an increased sense of well-being.
Socially: Gratitude leads to being more friendly, and more respectful. It means having more friends, better marital relations, and forming deeper relationships.
Career: Gratitude increases productivity, improves decision making, promotes interest in networking, and increases your ability reach your goals.
One excellent way to improve your gratitude is to keep a daily journal of things for which you were thankful. Interestingly, the more gratitude you express, the more gratitude you feel. Even making up thanks that you don’t feel has the same benefits as authentic thanks.
Science says also that keepers of a gratitude journal have fewer physical symptoms including pain, have more and better-quality sleep, and experience reductions in depression, anxiety, and blood pressure.
Can I help?
Usually, I write about conditions I can treat, but how-on-earth could I possibly use physical movements to treat a lack of gratitude? The answer lies with your cranial nerve called Vagus, the Latin word for ‘wandering.’ Vagus wanders down from your brainstem through your neck, your thorax, and abdomen. It influences your heart, lungs, and liver as well as your voice, digestion, and more.
Vagus counters our over-used fight-or-flight response by invoking a rest-and-digest, or relaxation, response. It enhances your feelings of gratitude and caretaking as well as altruism, compassion, love, and happiness.
So yes, I have a treatment for lack of gratitude, and it’s the one I use to stimulate your Vagus nerve. I use this treatment as well for sleep problems, anxiety, vocal problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
Make Every Day Thanksgiving Day.
Science has shown also, that being chronically ungrateful carries all the physical and emotional risks that gratitude helps to avoid. I encourage you to live the most healthy, satisfying, and productive life you can by being thankful every day.