Author: Andrea Koochin
Dr. Mercola, recently published a blog article in which he states the health benefits of gratitude. In case you are not familiar with Dr. Mercola, he runs The World’s #1 Natural Health Website and writes the most fabulous articles about everything to do with holistic health that you can think of. My husband is a Holistic Health Practitioner and he is a huge fan or Dr. Mercola’s and I have to say that in this often insane world we live in, it is wonderful for the soul to read something that makes complete sense from time to time.
So imagine my surprise when I read a wonderful article, which Dr. Mercola kindly sent to my inbox, about one of my favorite subjects, gratitude, and found that he had missed some extremely fundamental points. Having said that, I learned a lot from reading this article. I knew that “People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals”. But I did not know the degree to which “Scientists have noted that gratitude is associated with improved health”. That sounded like quite a stretch to me. But the evidence, as explained in his article, is quite overwhelming.
Something I found to be very interesting in the article was the reference to Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of Biological Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center statement, “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
Amazing isn’t it? For me it is extra special as it links my business to my husband’s business in a very lovely way. But here is what Dr. Mercola missed – I think there are some significant things which need to be stressed.
1 – I’ve always been more of a thinker than a believer and it strikes me that all this energy spent to find out what gratitude does is a good example of how strange our modern world has become. In the past we were taught to pray about it! Each prayer was meant to say “Thank You” to God for His blessings.
But somehow in our materialistic society, we have turned our prayers into requests for more. The result is that we are now so swamped by our desire for more, better, and bigger, that we have lost the ability to enjoy the little things. Something I’m going to stop thinking about and start believing in.
Whether you are a religious person or not, you have to admit, it’s interesting that modern scientists are giving credence now to what Jesus was teaching over 2000 years ago.
2 – Next is the subject of the expression of gratitude. Dr. Mercola lists four ways to express it: writing thank you notes, counting your blessings, praying, and practicing mindful meditation.
All very good things to do and certain to get you feeling happier about life in general. But if you cannot get into the mindset of it, how do you make sure you keep it up? For people who are really struggling, it might be very challenging to see the good things, let alone express gratitude for them. Buying a gratitude journal and a box of cards is a bit like buying a gym membership in the new year – the intention is all well and good, but without action, nothing will ever happen.
3 – My concern with gratitude journals is that they are very introverting – you are looking inside all the time and your gratitude is trapped in a closed book.
In my view, gratitude should be spread out into the world. But how do you motivate yourself to do that, especially when you don’t really feel it? Read our next blog to find out what I’d like Dr. Mercola to know and get our free download so that you can use gratitude to kick-start your life and improve your health!