Four Corners Health & Rehabilitation - November 2018

AN AT T I T UDE OF GRAT I T UDE Should Last Beyond Thanksgiving

Taking the time to acknowledge who and what you’re grateful for is a Thanksgiving tradition far more important than turkey or football. It’s the cornerstone of the holiday and the reason we feast together in the first place. But when you really think about it, should expressing our gratitude and appreciation for others be limited to one day every year? Of course not! Why Gratitude Matters As we get older, it’s easy to succumb to negativity and pessimism — “Kids these days,” “The world isn’t what it used to be,” etc. The crabby grandparent and angry old neighbor are archetypal depictions of later life. But these fictions don’t have to be your reality. Recognizing and acknowledging gratitude will help you take stock of the positive aspects of your life and dwell less on unhappy thoughts.

Avoid Stagnation When you milk an injury or don’t work your muscles through it, you’re actually continuing to damage your body. You and your physical therapist have developed a plan for your healing, and home exercises are part of that. Therapists know that you’re busy and have to move on after an injury. But they also want to see you succeed. When you fail to work those muscles at home, you’re making it harder on yourself and your healing process. Fit Healing Into Life The difficult side of physical therapy is the time you have to dedicate to it. You have to schedule your appointments around your job, life, and social obligations. But at-home exercises can be done in your own free time. You and your physical therapist can set up a plan to fit your exercises into your lifestyle so you can have the life you want According to gratitude expert and author Dr. Robert A. Emmons, “Preliminary findings suggest that those who regularly practice grateful thinking do reap emotional, physical, and interpersonal benefits. Adults who keep gratitude journals on a regular basis exercise more regularly, report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future.” How to Practice Gratitude In the above quotation from Dr. Emmons, he mentions the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. This activity is a great way to start seeing the world with a more positive, appreciative eye. As often as you can, take a few minutes to write down the acts, people, and moments that you’re grateful for. Some will be big, others small — but all will have an impact on your mood and bring a smile to your face. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire

book full of good memories and warm feelings.

While keeping a journal is great, there are other ways to go about cultivating and expressing gratitude. The easiest one is simply to say “Thanks” whenever you can. It may seem insignificant, but you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. When you approach the world with the perspective that every day is Thanksgiving, it’s only natural to be grateful. We all have moments when we want to curse the world, especially as we get older, and those experiences are perfectly normal. Just as frequently, though, we have moments that are worth celebrating, often with people who are worth appreciating. Which will you think about more?

Being grateful has also been linked to significant health benefits.


without compromising your health. Stretch your strained legs while catching up on a TV show. Walk your kids or your spouse through your workout. Watch the sunset while working through your wrist pain. At- home exercises are designed for your life. Foster Good Habits Once you find a way to fit your at-home exercises into your routines, you will create good habits. A good trick would be to weave your exercises into a necessary daily routine. It takes 21 days to break a bad habit and create a new, positive one, so keep persisting. Eventually, your workouts will become a habit you won’t want to ignore. If an injury is limiting your life, find out how Four Corners Health & Rehabilitation can help you find the right clinical and at-home care plan. Visit for more information.

The goal of physical therapy is to get you back to your normal self, and in some cases, people even exceed their normal limits. But those success stories only come to those who work for it, and part of that hard work is continuing your therapy exercises at home. If you don’t think you have enough time for your at-home therapy exercises, read on to learn how easy and beneficial these moves can be.

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