“Thank God it’s Friday.” by Diana Londono MD (originally published by KevinMD.com)
So many of us say it often. This resonates with many, as there is even a restaurant franchise with that name that has $2.5 billion in sales. Clearly, they are tapping into something that echoes what many think (even if they have what feels like a 73-page menu which, on Fridays when you are especially tired, can seem overwhelming, but I digress).
However, if we dig a little deeper and maybe get past the sarcastic definition of TGIF, and we really dissect the first words, there is a lot of wisdom there.
It is not about religion. It is about the name you are inclined to use: God/Universe/Higher Power/Jesus/Buddha/Angels/Source. Whatever makes you comfortable.
Gratitude is powerful. Words are powerful. Each word has a frequency that you feel when you say it.
If you say “Love” or “Hate,” the actual word FEELS different in your body.
A C minor sounds and FEELS different than a G sharp in music, just like music sounds that have a different frequency. We FEEL the words while processing in our brain what they mean.
So when my patients come to see me, it is not uncommon for me to prescribe some powerful words for their recovery: practice gratitude and connect to a higher power that resonates with you.
Stress is rampant. I see it daily as a urologist. I recently had a young patient I had seen three years ago for infertility come to me for a rash. It started on his legs and arms and then spread to his genitals. He saw a dermatologist who diagnosed him with eczema. Mhhhh… I was curious. Is this the first time this has happened? Yes, he said. Did the dermatologist share with you any insight into why it could have happened? No, he just gave me a cream.
My curiosity peaked.
You see, skin rashes can be manifestations of stress. So I asked him, “Did this happen by any chance right after a stressful time you were going through?” A weight lifted in the room. A sigh of relief was heard.
He shared how he also struggled with anxiety and depression. He was overweight, had infertility issues, and had tried medications that only numbed him and didn’t have a lasting effect, as well as therapy that had not worked.
We talked about how he was in a chronic fight-or-flight mode, which depleted him and led to exhaustion, depression, and the repetition of the cycle.
We discussed ways to break the cycle of stress, starting with gratitude journaling, finding his purpose, letting go, and forgiving past hurts or traumas. We talked about daily practices and explored internal family system therapy.
So, although his rash will resolve (and a prescription was given to alleviate it), the elephant in the room was the most important part of the visit because it matters to his physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Yes, I prescribe medications or surgery when needed.
But I also prescribe gratitude and connection to a higher purpose.
Because words are powerful.
Let’s use them for the greater good.