Caregivers in Rittenhouse PA
November brings Thanksgiving and family gatherings. Appropriately, it is also National Gratitude Month.
It is easy to let life overwhelm you. As a family caregiver, the demands on both your physical and emotional aspects can make the pressures of daily living overshadow the potential beauty of life. Letting yourself be swayed by circumstance instead of focusing on life’s gifts only promotes ill-feelings and affects your immune systems as well. A psychologist from the University of Birmingham found that gratitude raised self-confidence, promoted a better attitude at work, decreased physical pain, and improved health and longevity.
The Art of Gratitude
Does that mean that if you say “thank you” to the check-out person at the grocery store you are going to have a better attitude and live a long life? Not if the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day you are focused on what you conceive as negative thoughts or prolonged mental chatter about what’s missing in your life and how bad you have it. There is definitely an art to gratitude.
Practicing This Art with Your Elderly Parent
Both parties, family caregivers and their elderly parents, can benefit a great deal from the art of gratitude. Being thankful for what we have instead of focusing on what we want or don’t have, makes us much happier. Like attracts like, and to the degree that we keep our spirits up is the degree to which we attract people and circumstances of the same attitude. If you’re a caregiver who’s feeling down—try to remember just one thing you’re grateful for before heading to your elderly parent’s house. If your elderly parent is being tested by aging’s challenges and changes, remind them of one thing they can be grateful for. Minds are interesting. They spin and twirl to a million different topics—approximately 70.000 thoughts on any given day—and yet they can only focus on one thought at a time. They cannot produce grateful and remorseful thoughts at the same time. Try smiling when thinking a sad thought. The two are in stark contrast.
Increasing the Gratitude Quotient—Practices for You and Your Parent
Each morning, before reciting your to-do list or jumping out of bed to make the morning coffee, remember to say thank you. Make a mental list of five things, people or events that you are grateful for.
Every evening, just before drifting off to sleep, say thank you and, again, remember five things you are grateful for. Not only will it take your mind off your worries and promote better sleep, even your dreams will be sweeter.
As a reminder, carry a stone, small piece of paper or amulet of some type in your pocket or displayed somewhere in your home or car. Every time you feel or see it, say thank you, finding something specific to be thankful for.
Most importantly, remember to be thankful for each other. Focus on the good. “If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.”—Carl Perkins.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home caregivers in Rittenhouse, PA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Central Philadelphia. (215) 882-8234.