Tap into Gratitude for Greater Health and Healing

Tap into Gratitude for Greater Health and Healing

By Dr. Isaac Eliaz, MD, LAc.

Studies Show that Gratitude Can Improve Health

Feeling and expressing gratitude for life and all of its circumstances, goes hand in hand with the motivation to work toward health and wellbeing. Fascinating new research shows that feelings of gratitude help improve physiological well-being, reduce stress hormones and benefit other areas of health. Gratitude, simply put, encourages healing — and a more enjoyable way of life.

Finding Motivation and Gratitude During Difficult Times

But what if we have a chronic illness, or any life threatening challenge? In these all-too-common circumstances, it can seem extremely difficult to find the motivation to benefit ourselves and others, much less feel gratitude for such hardships. How do we find the motivation to “think positively” and be grateful for these difficulties?

First of all, it’s very important to be honest with ourselves. Frustration and upset over our hardships is real and natural, and it’s important to respect these feelings without covering them up under a thin layer of positive thinking, just because people tell us to “keep a positive attitude.”  Being honest with ourselves, and allowing our true feelings to be expressed, is the foundation for having authentic motivation.

The Peeling Process

It’s equally as important, however, not to identify ourselves with our difficulties — not to internalize our suffering and make it more painful. Remember, we are not our illness/condition/circumstance. One way to move through such challenges is to allow our feelings to flow freely without overindulging in them, and begin to experience a peeling process.

There is very real truth to the philosophy which states that crisis presents opportunity for healing on all levels — physical, mental, emotional and psycho-spiritual. This is part of the “peeling process,” where layers of distractions seem to peel away or vanish during crisis, and our inner truths can be revealed. In fact, many people would not experience the same growth, or transformations, without such challenges.

The Energetics of Motivation

What are the motivating forces at work here? Part of giving rise to motivation is the recognition that all beings want the same thing. As a meditation practitioner who teaches basic meditation and healing to patients, health practitioners and the general community, I always emphasize the importance of understanding that all beings are united by our natural fears and desires. We all want to be happy and likewise, we all experience suffering. It’s the truth of our existence.

The goal for healing and growth is to liberate ourselves from our hopes and fears, to cut through our attachments and aversions, to give rise to greater love and compassion. This in turn can generate authentic motivation and energy to benefit ourselves and others.

Though it may seem contradictory, it is this sense of detachment from our circumstances that can bring about a much deeper, more profound state of awareness and experience of life.  And if we can heal ourselves, it inspires us to benefit others, like a bucket overflowing with water. That’s part of giving rise to authentic motivation, and it comes from the heart.

True Inspiration

In my clinic, I am constantly inspired and deeply heartened by my patients’ courage, strength and conviction to heal and transform from their illnesses. It’s true that the crisis of a frightening diagnosis can be a motivating factor to make changes in life for the better. But there is a deeper motivation that happens when people fighting an illness find true healing — even in the absence of a ‘cure.’ They prove that “illness is not a failure.” In other words, despite their diagnosis or condition, they’ve uncovered a deeper meaning and appreciation of life, a more profound awareness, a greater love and compassion for themselves and others. They come to experience a vastly improved quality of life for themselves and those around them. The motivation to heal with a heart-centered approach, to follow a path of unconditional love and compassion, is for many patients what encourage their innate healing capacities to bloom.

By following our healing paths with authentic motivation– regardless of the issue — we have the potential to benefit ourselves and others in the greatest possible way. Because true healing, no matter which health program we follow, is about uncovering greater love and compassion, thereby allowing our innate healing capacities to flourish. In this way, we overflow our cups with unconditional love and gratitude, and effortlessly offer this healing energy to ourselves and everyone around us.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

There are 6 comments for this article
  1. Patricia Micciche at 6:07 am

    This Thanksgiving, 2014, Gratefulness abounds in my heart for all the Healing ways ” Dr. Issac ” continuously shares…. There is not a day that goes by, that is not profoundly touched by his sincere sharing of healing wisdom and compassion. Sincerely, Patricia (Jamestown, NY)

  2. Michael Janes at 1:26 am

    I can not believe how accurately this describes what has happened to me since being diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. I went through the “stages”-anger, why me?, poor me, etc like all who receive this news, but when my insurance flatly refused any more testing, I panicked. That plus a stubborn streak that refuses to give up led me to discover the world of natural healing. I feel like I must have read more about cancer than the average MD has, especially the role of nutrition in both healing and prevention. During this course of discovery I came across reference to your product, PectaSol-C which I incorporated into my program of healthier eating, supplements and exercise. There was still something missing, however, and that was the emotional healing, the letting go so to speak. I feel blessed to have avoided the conventional cancer treatments and know that God has a lot to do with this. I try to repay His kindness by being an inspiration to others. Yes, it is still sometimes difficult, but keeping an attitude of thankfulness and optimism is the only answer.

  3. Joan Priestley at 10:03 am

    I say daily, and encourage my patients to use, a “prayer of gratitude.” I say specifically, “thank you for my organs that work so well- thank you for my wonderful kidneys, that I can pee on command. Thank you for my liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines, that work so well. Thank you for my wonderful heart, that beats so beautifully. Thank you for my lungs, that breathe so well.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you that I have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a voice to speak my profound appreciation that I have eyes that see, and ears that hear. Thank you especially for the brains God gave me. Please grant me the discernment to use my time and talents effectively and productively, this glorious day.”
    People forget the basics- yes, they might have a life-lesson health challenge, but the rest of their body manifests a multitude of gifts from God, that we too often just take for granted, and forget to be thankful for !
    I tell my more whiny patients, “how would you like it if you were also blind, and on dialysis, and had cancer??” Then they feel lucky that they just have cancer, but also can see, and pee whenever they want.
    Joan Priestley, MD

  4. Christina Wyrick at 4:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing such profound insights and truths! I have healed myself of breast cancer with western surgery and a holistic approach (diet, mind, exercise). It was during my research and healing that I found you and your website in 2010 and I have followed you and shared your wisdom and products with my family and friends ever since. Peace, Prosperity and Blessings to you Dr. Eliaz.

  5. Heidi Sloss at 5:28 pm

    Loved this piece. It was shared to me by my best friend and chiropractor, who also has Lupus. I plan on tweeting this out and sharing it on FB.

  6. julia black at 2:19 am

    could I get copies of this article, I would love to share with family during the holidays…….