This time of year we hear a lot about gratitude and giving thanks. The rhythm of the year has changed again, leading us into a holiday season with ample opportunities to get in touch with our gratitude. We often think of gratitude as a gift given to acknowledge the efforts or attributes of another, like saying "thank you" to a store clerk, or practicing prayers of thanksgiving with someone special in mind. Indeed, recognizing the ways other people positively affect us is a wonderful extension of goodwill and a way to create a compassionate society.
But the gift of gratitude extends beyond the receiver of the thankfulness. Expressions of gratitude benefit the giver too. In fact, gratitude practices are positively correlated with improved health, from greater heart health, to better sleep, to potentially reducing pain and improving quality of life. There are numerous ways to practice gratitude; gratitude journals, writing thank you letters, donating time or money, simple awareness practices to longer gratitude meditations. All authentic expressions of gratitude have the potential in offer us important health and wellness benefits. So where do you start?
Robert Emmons, Ph.D. from University of California, Davis, suggests "If you want to make the most out of opportunities to flex your gratitude muscles, you must creatively look for new situations and circumstances in which to feel grateful." How about trying something new; igniting the creative, imaginative part of yourself, all while reducing stress and getting in touch with your sense of gratitude? On Tuesday November 21st at 6:30pm I will be hosting a special drop-in Meditation and Imagery session in which we will use clinical imagery techniques to access the imagination, recall meaningful life experiences, and connect with our sense of gratitude for the gifts found during these experiences. These types of clinical imagery experiences have the potential to shift your perspective, lower your stress response, and provide inspiration to carry you forward into the holiday season. Come find your sense of creativity and gratitude.
Details: Tuesday November 21st at 6:30pm at the Integrative Medicine Office of Dr. Carin Nielsen, 413 Waukazoo Ave., Petoskey MI. Call Katie Winnell for more information, 231.330.5836. $15 drop-in fee.