With Thanksgiving for this year behind us, we know that the holiday season will come barreling down on us, even though It has been gearing up since before Halloween. To overcome the likelihood of being overwhelmed by the full force of all the marketing pitches that will be put before us in the coming weeks, let’s take some time here to think about that which is perhaps most precious to us – good health.
There are several ways to help think about it. And “think” is the key word here—especially since new research indicates that how we think can and does significantly affect our overall health outcomes.
To take time is much more easily said than done. It’s true enough. Still, in this accelerated season in an ever-accelerating world, it’s very helpful to take even a few minutes every day to be quiet. Go into your proverbial “prayer closet” – somewhere that you can shut out the noise and activity of everyday life – and be still. Because this is hard for me to do – sit still without having to jump up to take care of this or that – I sometimes lie on a pillow very close to a wall or door, and “hang” my feet up on the wall for 10 minutes or so. This activity of having your hips above your head brings enormous physical benefits, even as it calms and nourishes your mind and spirit.
Gratitude and Joy
Once you are quiet, you can begin to feel grateful for all that’s good in your life. Not all the things to be grateful for will come to you in one sitting, for sure, but it’s a start, and it’s a great time for recognizing the obvious: I am alive. This thought alone will likely generate some spiritual vigor, which may lead right into a child-like sense of joy – which rests in the heart of all of us. Enjoy the moment.
One of the benefits of being still, especially if you’re on your back and not inclined to jump up too quickly, is a profound sense of peace. Even if, at first, you only experience it for a fleeting moment, it can make a big difference in your approach to the rest of your day, and how you think about yourself and others. That feeling of inner peace, is known to remove stress and fears, and many other factors that can lead to physical, emotional, or spiritual illness.
So taking a few minutes a day for stillness, leads us through gratitude and joy to bring us to the peace of who we are, and the quality of our connections to ourselves, to other people, and, ultimately, to some kind of power outside of ourselves that many of us call God.
Enjoy some really fine health as you make your way through the holiday season.