Dr. Meyer's Debut Blog Post: Constructing a Gratitude List

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Focus on the positives. Write them down, and review the list. You will undoubtedly find that you have much to be grateful for, and you will smile.

Hello, and welcome to my blog. With a new website, and new office (soon), and the fact that my children keep telling me to be more tech-savvy, I thought it was time to join the blogosphere. From time to time, I will post a short segment about a topic, an interesting story, or a response to media coverage of health-related issues. I hope that you will enjoy this online connection with the practice.

For the first entry, I would encourage you to consider constructing a gratitude list. So often, people come into my office depressed or anxious about perceived deficiencies in their lives. While it is certainly true that life isn’t always fair, and that curve balls are so common as to be the norm of living, these deficiencies often obscure what is going well. For most people, in fact, more is going well than awry. The negative feelings and perceptions are magnified by social media, where everyone else seems to have perfect lives (those of us of a certain age know that no one has a perfect life, and that often the least happy people create an online version of themselves which has little basis in reality).

I tell my patients to stop looking to the right and to the left for validation one way or the other. The way to put things in perspective is to consider what is good in your life. This will, for some people, require a bit of thought. Do it—it’s worth it. There should not be a negative column. Focus on the positives. Write them down, and review the list. Review and update the list at least once a week. You will undoubtedly find that you have much to be grateful for, and you will smile. Problems won’t disappear, but by also considering what is good in your life, you will have a sense of perspective which will make these problems easier to manage. And your blood pressure will go down, and you will be happier.

Author
Dr. Mark L. Meyer Dr. Meyer graduated from Haverford College with a Bachelor of Science, High Honors, in cellular and molecular biology, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude. He attended the Yale University School of Medicine, where he also completed a categorical residency in Internal Medicine, served for one year as an Emergency Department attending physician, and held the title of Clinical Instructor in the Department of Surgery. During this time, Dr. Meyer obtained a J.D. from the Yale Law School, concentrating on medical ethics, scientific research law, and FDA law. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained Level 3 Nuclear Cardiology training.

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