Thanksgiving, Give Thanks, Cardiovascular Health, Whitaker Wellness, Freedom of Health Foundation

Giving Thanks This Thanksgiving

Autumn celebrations with feasts, rituals, and prayers of gratitude for a bountiful harvest have been a mainstay of cultures around the world for thousands of years. Thanksgiving today may be mostly about feasting—and football and pre-holiday shopping seem to be our favorite rituals—but let’s not lose sight of the meaning.

Thanksgiving: A Time to Express Gratitude…
We all should take time to express gratitude for our blessings. As Epictetus, a philosopher in ancient Greece, said, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Acknowledging and focusing on the positive things in your life—not only on Thanksgiving but every day—does wonders for your happiness and well-being.

…And Share Your Blessings
So does sharing your gifts and blessings. Chances are you already do this. According to the Charities Aid Foundation’s 2013 survey, the United States, followed by Canada, Burma, New Zealand, and Ireland, are the most generous and giving countries in the world. In a typical month, 62 percent of Americans donate to charities, 45 percent volunteer their time, and 77 percent assist strangers.

This spirit of generosity not only helps others, but also benefits the givers. Volunteering is associated with enhanced mental and emotional health, higher “life satisfaction,” as well as better blood pressure, CRP levels, and other markers of cardiovascular health.

Give, and Give Some More
Giving comes in many guises. I don’t work in a soup kitchen or tutor kids, but I run a nonprofit foundation without pay (Dr. Whitaker’s Freedom of Health Foundation, which many of you have generously donated to). I also give talks, help raise funds, and financially support this and other organizations across the country that educate patients, help persecuted physicians, and promote health awareness and freedom.

Whatever your interests—health, hunger, education, safety, animals, children, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, military families—there are endless opportunities for volunteering and organizations in your community that would welcome your help.

I’m Thankful for YOU
On Thanksgiving Day, before we dig into the turkey and all the trimmings, my family always goes around the table and takes turns mentioning at least one thing each family member is thankful for. This year, as always, I will include my patients, Health & Healing subscribers, and my readers among my many blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.



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