December 5, 2017
Sense of purpose and one’s personal definition of spirituality may change throughout a lifetime, adapting to the experiences and relationships acquired along the way. There’s plenty of research showing that people who participate in their local church, synagogue, mosque or other preferred spiritual community are happier. However, what if you are not religious?
According to Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health, being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body and mind, “For physical health, it’s not so much happiness per se, but this ability to regulate and have a sense of purpose and meaning.”
Be Generous: According to a Wall Street Journal report, the brain is hardwired for giving, so nothing can be more powerful than trading expectations for a gratitude attitude. Giving can free us to care, and identifying even the mundane ways you currently give might be the spark you need to get into the giving spirit this holiday season. Finding a cause that resonates with you and your loved ones or locating local life groups in your community with the goal to learn from one another can be extremely healthy and create meaningful connections. Lifting your spirits as a family and thinking in terms of what others might need outside the walls of your home and city is also a good place to start. For example, you may consider donating a shoebox full of personal care items or clothing to one of 5,000 drop-off locations this year. For a nominal donation, you can track your shoebox and discover where and who receives the gift.
Be Grateful: As expert Robert Emmons states, it is easy to feel grateful when times are good, but what is hard to understand is how to be grateful when disasters strike. Gratitude must be shown in actions and practiced on a regular basis to help us cope with crisis. According to Emmons, consciously cultivating an attitude of gratitude builds up a sort of psychological immune system that can cushion us when we fall. There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals. The contrast between suffering and redemption serves as the basis for practicing gratitude: the lesson is to remember the bad as well as the good.
Say Thank You: Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likeli-hood that the action will be executed. Write down your own gratitude vow, which could be as simple as remembering to say, “thank you” throughout the day and post your intentions on a post-it note somewhere so you will be reminded of it every day.
Consider being grateful by intention and thank yourself for where you are today. Remember that giving is an action; so, get involved, share a smile and look through your opportunity lens to flex your spiritual muscles of gratitude this season.
I encourage you to stay in touch and stay tuned to read “Say Yes to JOY”.
National Program Director of Wellness Services
EnerG® by Aegis Therapies
Aegis Therapies is a nationally recognized leader in contract rehabilitation and wellness services with more than 7,500 therapists and clinicians providing therapy services in over 1,400 facilities across 41 states. Harvey has more than three decades of experience in the Fitness/Wellness/Retirement Living Industry, and champions evidence-based programs across the nation in order to increase overall results using aspects of innovative business development tactics to drive quality, consistency and successful outcomes.
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