Mind Body & Spirit

Prayer in hard times

When life gets us down — perhaps because of an unexpected illness, a change in financial status or our disappointment in the choices made by someone we love — we have many options for how we are going to cope. Some choose to call a dear friend who always has the right things to say in the face of a crisis. Many call out to God in prayer. Such prayers can take many forms. They may be just two words repeated over and over — “Help me, help me, help me.” They may be expressed in silence and tears or in the question, “Why me?”

Holistic eating: Eat to feel better

Do you have chronic headaches, allergies or heart health concerns? Do you feel sluggish or in pain? A prescription for feeling better might be right inside your pantry or refrigerator.

Look beyond the mayonnaise and chips. Avoid the ice cream, and scoot past the red meat. Instead, look to that bag of almonds or fresh oranges, or the black beans and brown rice. These foods and many more can help you feel revitalized and renewed, according to Kim Evans, APRN.

Gratitude and focus for the new year

Each New Year’s Eve, I tell myself I am going be more grateful for the everyday life I lead. I also promise to be more focused on my goals and to be sure I am anticipating a positive event each day.

And like most everyone, I forget these promises within a few weeks. It’s never intentional. It’s just a busy life getting in the way of higher thinking. Only this year, I gave myself a break and started the practice once again … in November.

Need a little Nspiration?

Recently I was asked to visit a family at Norton Hospital whose loved one had just died. When I entered the room, I noticed the patient's wife sitting next to him holding his hand while his brother sat in a chair next to the bed.

After introductions and some prayer, I stayed and visited with the family as they shared stories about the patient’s life. It was a beautiful time of getting to know the man and celebrating his life with his family, even though it was in this very limited manner.

Three good things

With so many challenges in our daily lives and in the lives of those for whom we provide care, it can be easy to focus too much on negative, pessimistic and unhappy attitudes. When we choose to recognize gratitude in our world, our perspective changes and the day gets better. There are so many days, after finishing work or lying down to sleep, that we may forget to take even a minute to be grateful. For these times, author Terry Fralich, writing in “The Five Core Skills of Mindfulness,” helpfully observes:

Studies show practicing gratitude has health benefits

Psychology professor and author Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., University of California at Davis, has been studying the effects of gratitude on physical health, psychological well-being and relationships for more than a decade.

Over the years, Emmons and his colleagues have studied more than 1,000 people ages 8 to 80. In this research, participants are asked to keep a daily “gratitude journal” for three weeks, making note of things for which they are grateful.