Don’t stress too much about those Thanksgiving calories, because the emotional work you do at the dinner table could be good for your spiritual health. At least that’s what physician, holistic medicine expert and bestselling author Deepak Chopra says.
Chopra, who most recently wrote The Future of God: A Practical Approach to Spirituality for Our Times, says expressing gratitude on Thanksgiving isn’t just tradition—it’s also good for the body and spirit. And in a month when many Americans may be feeling worried or disappointed (about everything from the severe weather, to the unrest in Ferguson and the disturbing allegations against Bill Cosby), an effort to be more grateful can help get rid of those “toxic” feelings, if just for one night. “Anger and hostility can be inflammatory not only in your mind but in your body,” he said. “Gratitude is healing. It expands your awareness and shifts your focus from something that’s actually hurting you to something that is healing.”
But it’s not enough to just gorge yourself on sweet potatoes and bicker over the drumstick– you have to actually deliberately practice gratitude in order to reap the spiritual benefits.
So stop stressing about how much pie you’re eating and focus instead on what’s good in your life. It’s healthy.