The power of gratitude

Gratitude is powerful. One of the world’s most knowledgeable and passionate believers in mind-body medicine─Deepak Chopra─says it best, “Giving thanks for abundance is greater than abundance itself.”

In a recent blog article about the healing power of gratitude, Chopra outlines how those who cultivate a grateful outlook feel better about their lives and experience greater, lasting levels of happiness. And equally important, they get sick less often, experience less stress and enjoy closer family relationships.

Ties with family and friends are top-of-mind for most of us this week, since it’s Thanksgiving, whether it’s a sense of anticipation to spend time with loved ones or friends, or even a painful time remembering the loss of someone dear.

It’s certainly an ideal time for reflection and gratitude.  

TRY A GRATITUDE WALK

When reading Chopra’s blog post, what struck me the most was his idea of “taking a gratitude walk.”

Not only is walking incredibly beneficial to your overall health, but it’s an opportunity for mindfulness. A chance to put aside that voice of smallness, negativity and self-doubt, and focus on the wonders that make life worth living, in all of its ups and downs.

Chopra mentions how a gratitude walk is a particularly useful practice when someone is feeling down, stressed or worried, and holidays have an uncanny ability to bring these emotions into the daylight for most of us.

Choosing to focus on something positive rather than dwelling on hurt or negativity is a choice and certainly a habit worth cultivating… especially given the healing ability gratitude has for both mind and body.

Set aside twenty minutes (or longer) and go for a walk, taking the time to think about those things you’re most grateful for. It can be in your own neighborhood, or a glorious natural setting like the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, a nearby mountain preserve or one of our many nature trails… even a golf path. No matter where you choose to walk, take the time to consider those things both big and small you’re grateful for: the enduring and (mostly) patient love of a spouse or parent, the beauty of the trail, the ability to go for a walk and move your legs with balance, the scent of fresh herbs or plants in your yard, a warm bed you can linger in on cool mornings, clean sheets or towels just out of the dryer, the bounty of a Thanksgiving dinner or the taste of a meal you’ve prepared and the way it fills your stomach and nourishes your body, appreciation for a good book…

What a wonderful idea, right? If you give the gratitude walk a try, we’d love a chance to celebrate your experience with you. Won’t you join us on Facebook and tell us what you’re most grateful for? It would be such a nice way to celebrate Thanksgiving.  

The gift of planning ahead is something loved ones are often grateful for─especially when difficult choices have to be made. If you’d like to consider planning ahead for long-term care options at an independent living retirement community focused on health, wellness and spirituality, our Life Care communities might be of interest. We invite you to attend a Sun Health Senior Living workshop near you to learn more. To speak to someone immediately, please contact Jackie Lusson, our corporate director of sales, at 623-236-3767.

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