It's the holiday season, and if you have left you home anytime in the last few weeks, I am sure that you have been inundated with messages about thankfulness and giving. Some of these messages come from a consumer-driven place, but leaving that aside, giving to others, and practicing gratitude can be a huge benefit to your mental and emotional health. Some studies show that focusing on what you are grateful for can result in a myriad of health-related changes such as lowering blood pressure, improved sleep, lower incidence of depression, and even weight loss (the thought being that the patients in the study were better able to determine when they were satiated).
This year my focus on gratitude has been reignited by my approaching graduation from the acupuncture program. Beginning next year, my only school-related focus will be passing my board exams and honing my clinical skills (talk about a lighter load!!!). It took a lot to get to this point, and I know that it will take a lot more to see everything to its conclusion, but I am lucky to be able to chase my dream. I am so thankful for my mother; she is here through thick and thin, willing to help me every step of the way. Every time that I am asked how I balance the whole crazy life-kids-school thing, I think about all of the people that are in my life who have played a part in it. My community makes everything possible. They keep me focused, and show love to my family; they tell me the things that are hard to hear, taking off the blinders, so that I do not let myself get blindsided. In an environment that has so many willing mentors with whom I can regularly interact, I feel secure in my choices as I move forward. These are just a few of the things that I thinking about on as of late. How are you all practicing gratitude in your daily lives?
Have a happy and thankful Thanksgiving!