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120: Just a Bunch of Dudes Being Grateful

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120: Just a Bunch of Dudes Being Grateful

Nov 23, 2022
Do you know what's fun? Hearing guys talk about what they are grateful for in their lives. Who would have guessed? And many men are also surprised that simply expressing gratitude in writing improved their mood and reduced anger, stress, and anxiety. It might sound ridiculous, but it works. Learn how to get started with a gratitude practice, construct gratitude statements, and hear the WCAMH crew and their guests express gratitude for another person, a personal quality, and something of their own choosing.

Episode Transcript

This content was originally created for audio. Some elements such as tone, sound effects, and music can be hard to translate to text. As such, the following is a summary of the episode and has been edited for clarity. For the full experience, we encourage you to subscribe and listen— it's more fun that way.

Scot: Today on "Who Cares About Men's Health," it's dudes talking about what they're grateful for, because gratitude matters for good mental health, bruh. And also not only that, not only dudes, but we also have a woman with us as well, which is awesome because she's one of our favorite people in the world. She's on the show and she's going to help us with gratitude. Probably knows more about gratitude than all of us.

So it's a Thanksgiving episode of "Who Cares About Men's Health," and we're going to talk about how being thankful, gratitude, can positively impact your emotional health in a bigger way than you might ever imagine. And we're also going to give you a formula so you can start your own gratitude practice and see the difference in your life.

This is "Who Cares About Men's Health," information, inspiration, and different interpretation of men's health. And I'm grateful for the big crew we got today. This is probably the most people we've ever had on one show. I'm Scot Singpiel. My job, I bring the BS, and I'm grateful for the MD to my BS, Dr. Troy Madsen.

Troy: Thanks, Scot. I'm grateful for you too. And this is a huge surprise. I just logged on here thinking it was just going to be the three of us, and we've got quite a crew here, so this is really cool.

Scot: Yeah. At one point, he thought gratitude practice was woo-woo, but now he's a true believer too. It's Mitch Sears.

Mitch: Okay, sure. True believer. Whatever. Sure. Yes, gratitude is good. It's a good thing to do, blah, blah, blah.

Scot: Thunder Jalili, he's the professor . . . or he's a professor, not the professor. But on our show, he's the professor of nutrition and integrative physiology in the College of Health at University of Utah. Thunder, welcome.

Thunder: Thank you. I'm grateful to be here with you all.

Scot: We've got Kirtly Parker Jones. She's an OBGYN, and also the host of one of our sister podcasts, or one of our co-podcasts, "The Seven Domains of Women's Health." Dr. Jones, it's great to have you on the program as well.

Dr. Jones: Thank you. I'm basking in the warmth of all these male voices.

Scot: Yeah. Can you handle all the manness that's happening?

Dr. Jones: I can do it, and it's just wonderful.

Scot: Oh, I love it. So, Mitch, I'm going to throw this to you because you know quite a bit about gratitude. This is something that you had been encouraged to try. You kind of thought, "Eh, I don't know. I don't know if that's me." Eventually, you kind of begrudgingly gave into it. And then we've actually even had you speak at a couple of our work events about starting a gratitude practice. You've come a long way. So you're kind of our expert on gratitude.

Dr. Jones or anybody else, if you want to jump in on what you know, that's great. But let's kick this off. Mitch, what have you learned about gratitude practice, and how it can impact your health?

Mitch: So we've talked a little bit on the show before about me starting kind of the road to better mental health. And one of the things that I've struggled with is depression, and some real severe anxiety, etc.

And it was very interesting because, one, it seemed like every time I looked online, or even with some of the very early therapists that I was talking to in one way or another, they're like, "Oh, have you tried a gratitude journal?"

I don't know what it is, and maybe it's my masculinity, maybe it's me that I'm already hesitant to be doing this kind of work, but the idea of sitting down and writing, "Oh, what I'm thankful for," and, "Oh, what I'm good for," that felt such a small thing. It's like, "That is not going to help me. That is not going to fix anything." I'm not here for Kumbaya. I'm here to fix myself, right?

And so it wasn't until I got a really good relationship with my current mental health person and he was like, "Dude, there's a lot of real research showing that this works." And so he sent me some of that research and I read through it, and it pans out.

Scot: It works, huh?

Mitch: It works. And so the idea is that if you are someone who is anxious and you are constantly dealing with things of fear or feelings of anxiety about one thing or another, if you have in the back of your mind and in a practice every day a couple of things that you enjoy, things that you really like, some things to look forward to, it can help minimize the anxiety symptoms, right?

And we've talked about depression before with Dr. Langenecker. We had a great episode about depression where we talked about how it's kind of this negative voice that gets into your head and makes everything black and white. Everything is super bad or super good, and it causes all sorts of problems.

And they have found, from my experience, and research, and stuff that if you are constantly reminding yourself there are good things, things are positive, they exist, it becomes awfully hard to say that everything is terrible.

Scot: Yeah. Anybody else on the show have experience with gratitude or gratitude journaling or know anything that they'd like to share?

Dr. Jones: Well, I want to just say something that I learned this morning from this wonderful blog on contemplation and action from a Native-American healer, who said that it is very difficult to live in a platform of anger when you work from a position of gratitude.

And so, when I think of depression as anger turned inward, it is really hard to be angry when you're starting a gratitude practice. And getting rid of anger is a big deal for guys and for women. So I would say . . .

Scot: Wow. Yeah. That one hit right there when you said that, because that's one of the things that has been a recurring theme. When men's mental health starts to decline, anger and aggression is what kind of comes forth. That's one of the symptoms.

Dr. Jones: Right.

Scot: Wow.

Thunder: I actually have never done any gratitude type exercises. So this is new territory for me, but I'm rapidly seeing the value of it.

Troy: Yeah. And I'll say it's something I've really tried starting with the pandemic and during that time as I was really having a difficult time at work and struggling with the anxiety and fear associated with that, that I think a lot of us were experiencing. But certainly being on the front lines, that was kind of the next level, just a whole lot of unknowns there.

Started doing kind of the same thing as Mitch has done with the gratitude journal, and trying to do that every day, and just pick out, "What am I grateful for?" And I can say it does help, there's no question. It helps with anger and it helps with anxiety, which are two emotions I've tried to, as much as I can, reduce in my life. And I think just knowing what you're grateful for and focusing on those things has certainly made a difference for me.

Scot: Plus, there's that mind-body connection that, until recently, was kind of ignored, right? A healthy mind can then translate into a healthy body as well. So if you're doing these types of practices that bring you more mental peace, that can also help physical ailments as well.

So all of us are going to share, and we've got a couple that weren't able to make it today that we've had on the podcast in the past, the guests we're most grateful for that have been part of this "Who Cares About Men's Health" podcast over the past year.

We're going to share our gratitude statements and we're going to give you a formula that if you're like, "I don't even know where to start," you could start with this formula. And it doesn't have to be a journal. You don't have to go out and get a leather-bound, fancy journal with an embossed cover. I mean, unless you're Mitch, then you do.

Mitch: No. You joke about that. But when I started, I thought the same thing. And it was fundamentally my therapist being like, "Just write a note in your phone." There was something about him just being like, "Quit making this such a huge thing and just do it," that completely changed the way for me to do it.

Scot: Yeah. But you actually like the ritual too now. And the journal, the thing you're putting it in, has some meaning to you as well, and you get enjoyment from that.

Mitch: Yes.

Scot: So, however. it works for you. That's one of the things we've discovered on this podcast, is it's not going to be the same for everybody. We're giving you a base formula. You might like a nice leather journal like Mitch, or you might just put it in your phone. You might choose to do only one gratitude statement a day, or you might do all three.

So let's talk about what structure we're going to use today on the show. Mitch?

Mitch: Okay. So the structure requires two. There's a bunch of them online that you're looking for, but fundamentally, we are looking for a statement that says, "I am grateful for blank." It can be whatever you're thinking. The more specific, the better, right?

So "I am grateful for something super general" is not going to be super meaningful. It's not going to be very tangible for you. So you've got to make sure that's kind of specific.

But it's "I am grateful for blank, because blank." And that's the most important part, is not only saying what you are grateful for and being specific about it, but coming up with the exact reason because. You are grateful because of what?

And by identifying the things that you appreciate about that person, that thing, that force of nature, whatever that is, by actually taking the thought process and writing down, "This is why I like," it really helps kind of connect yourself to your emotions, and helps you fully really understand why you're grateful.

It's not just, "These are a few of my favorite things." It's, "These are things that I appreciate and why."

Scot: All right. So like this: I'm grateful for Troy because of his quick wit . . .

Troy: Oh, thanks, Scot.

Scot: . . . and his great sense of humor, makes me smile, and makes doing this podcast fun.

Mitch: Boom. Yes. Because you're also tying it back to yourself as well in the "because." That's a super perfect version of a gratitude statement.

Scot: Thank you. I've been practicing.

Troy: I'm just speechless. I don't even know what to say now.

Scot: Now, Troy, I feel bad now. This is me overanalyzing it. I appreciate so much more than your great sense of humor. I also appreciate the knowledge you bring to the show, and what a great friend you've been to me, and all. You're not just your sense of humor. It's like, "Hey, buddy. Eyes up here. I'm more than my sense of humor."

Troy: "Eyes up here." Well, thanks, Scot. Thank you.

Scot: Yeah. All right. For this particular practice . . . and this is what Mitch taught us as well, and I like this. Again, this can adjust. Each one of us is going to do three statements. "I am grateful for blank because blank." And the first one is going to be for another person, the second one is going to be something about yourself, and the third is just a wild card. It could be pets, objects, concepts, the weather, Sour Patch Kids. I mean, it doesn't matter, right?

Mitch, explain why these three categories, what they do, especially the something about yourself. I find that one particularly interesting.

Mitch: Yeah. So, in some of the work, after I've been doing this for a while, I'm like, "How do I take it to that next level?" I took that kind of approach to gratitude, because of course I did.

But the idea is that if we focus and have an intent with our gratitude journals, one, we can start to look for relationships. So by making a gratitude statement about another person, we are kind of forcing ourselves to appreciate the people around us, to remind ourselves that there are good people that we like in our lives, right?

Which is really helpful, especially with depression, anxiety, when you're having those thoughts that, "Oh, my friends hate me. Oh, they'll never want to hear from me again." Just remind yourself why you like that person and why it's worth working through that.

Second, by writing a gratitude about yourself, we are furthering that kind of self-esteem positive talk. "I am grateful for my curiosity," or whatever it is. This idea of finding the things that you really like about yourself, that's something that a lot of us don't take the time doing. So let's do it now.

And then the wild card is really just to get into the practice, right? It allows us to kind of go wild and figure out . . . The Sour Patch Kids was an example that I have, right? They're a great candy. When Halloween comes around, I really get excited about them. I like to go buy a bag of them, blah, blah, blah.

And so just by reminding yourselves of these small everyday things from any other aspect of life of what you enjoy, you're now building that library of positive things that you're really grateful for.

Troy: I was going to say, Scot, we've got Ben on here. Should we have Ben do an intro or something?

Scot: Yeah. Dr. Chan, unmute your mic. How are you doing?

Dr. Chan: Doing great. Thanks for having me. Long time, no listen or no see.

Troy: Good to hear from you. Yeah, we're grateful Ben just joined us.

Dr. Chan: Is that Troy? That makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Thank you, Troy.

Troy: Anytime.

Scot: The formula that you saw that we talked about . . . And I sent this out in an email, so you did see the formula that Mitch has put together for us. Is this something pretty common that you've seen where you talk about, "I am grateful for blank because blank," and the "because" is really the important part? And then you kind of do a person or yourself or a wild card. Is that kind of common? Or how else might this practice manifest that you've seen?

Dr. Chan: That's exactly how it's done. And again, everyone is different, and everyone kind of approaches this differently, but I think thanking other people is definitely needed. That's the social lubricant of talking to others, is thanking them and being grateful for their help and support.

And also, I like how it was phrased that we have to thank ourselves, because I think we're our own harshest critics at times.

I was reading a study the other day that if you hear 100 positive things said about you and one negative thing, which is the one thing do you think we remember a week from now, a year from now, 10 years from now? It's the negative thing. We are far too harsh on ourselves, so I preach kindness. I think being grateful for something internally is wonderful.

And then I like the funny one too. Are we talking about Sour Patch Kids and flavors, or what rabbit hole are we going down on this?

Mitch: It's anything, right?

Scot: Just anything to know that you appreciate the small things, that there's beauty everywhere. It doesn't have to be this major thing, which is another point.

What we're about to do here has a lot of weight because it's in one podcast. So that other person, we're all thinking, "This needs to be the most important person." But when you do this on a daily basis, it doesn't have that massive weight. So then you can start to expand this thought to other people in your life that you might not have ever normally thought of, like, "Wow, I really appreciate that person." At least that was my experience when I did this.

So this might have a lot of weight, but when you start this practice, it's kind of fun to watch how this expands into a lot of different things, and how you have to get a little creative about the things you like about yourself even. The first couple are easy, but then it gets pretty hard.

So let's start with Thunder. Let's actually do this. Let's go through the three things that we're grateful for. Thunder, you volunteered to start, so let's go.

Thunder: Yeah. I thought it'd be good to start first. That way I can sit back and listen to what everyone else has.

So, first one, I'm grateful for my wife. And this is probably cliché, but I'm grateful for the love and companionship she offers because it makes me feel kind of secure and comforted and part of something. So that's the person I'm grateful for.

Number two, something about myself, I am grateful for the younger version of myself. Going back to when I was about a sophomore in college and the fact that I was curious enough to be interested in the field of nutrition and health, and looking at where that took me in life in terms of being able to not just learn those lessons and help myself, but also spread that message and help other people. That's been very gratifying.

And then the third thing that I'm grateful for, I'm grateful for cold weather and winter because I love to ski, and this has been a great start to the ski season.

Troy: That's a good one.

Mitch: That's fantastic. He did it. Well done.

Scot: Thank you.

Dr. Chan: Strong work.

Scot: I wanted to make a joke and go, "Gosh, can you believe Thunder? What a wuss."

Dr. Jones: No, that was nice. Don't wuss him.

Scot: But it was hard after you did that. I couldn't. You completely disarmed me.

Thunder: But I agonized over going with that, right? Because I thought, "God, could I be any more cliché?" It's not like my wife is listening to this, but I don't know. It just stood out. It's the one person that I'm grateful for kind of above, I guess, most others. So I had to say it.

Scot: And if you're going to do it for one podcast, if you only get one shot at the person, I think that's going to be pretty normal. But if you start doing this on a daily basis, maybe I'll make your list sometime.

Thunder: Yeah. Well, you were a close second. Again, it was part of the agonizing.

Troy: A close second behind your wife and ahead of your daughter, and then there's Scot.

Thunder: No, you're right though. If it's something that you do on a regular basis, there are obviously so many different people that I think all of us would be grateful for.

Scot: Yeah. Coworkers, friends, families, maybe sometimes even a stranger, right? A teacher.

Thunder: Yeah, like the lady today at Red Hanger who helped find my clothing. Seriously. It's been lost for like two weeks, right? I'm grateful for her, and she would come up on a regular gratefulness, but not if I've got to single out one person.

Scot: Right. In my gratitude journal, I actually was grateful for somebody at a paint store because they went above and beyond to properly color match things. It made my life nicer, and I just appreciated that.

Thunder: There you go.

Scot: All right. That was awesome, Thunder. Who would like to go next? Who would like to raise their hand and go next? Oh, everybody is scared. Who wants to follow Thunder?

Troy: No one can follow Thunder.

Thunder: The bar is not that high. Someone else can go.

Scot: Dr. Jones, you have never lacked self-confidence. Why don't you go next?

Dr. Jones: I'd be happy to. Well, I'll start with the person. I am grateful for my father who raised me to be curious, and now I can live in a world that's endlessly amazing. So he gave me this unbelievable gift.

About myself, I'm grateful for pizza and it always makes me smile. So I'm grateful for pizza because it can have all the food groups. It's something yummy that I can eat with my fingers. And burritos would also qualify here.

And then lastly, I'm grateful for the evolutionary miracle of chlorophyll, that green thing that makes food out of sunlight and carbon dioxide, because it makes life as we know it on the surface of this planet endlessly beautiful. And I can see it every day.

Scot: That was fantastic.

Troy: Well, you just stole one of mine, Kirtly.

Dr. Jones: You did the chlorophyll?

Mitch: I also had chlorophyll.

Mitch: Troy, I was thinking you had bean burritos.

Troy: Well, she stole two of mine then.

Dr. Jones: Burritos and pizza.

Troy: Burritos, pizza, and chlorophyll.

Dr. Jones: Eating with fingers is just so great.

Scot: That was fantastic. Thank you, Dr. Jones, for that.

Dr. Jones: You're welcome.

Scot: Let's hit Dr. Chan next. What do you want to show gratitude for?

Dr. Chan: Oh, thanks, Scot. I feel like it's the Academy Awards, and so I have a list of people I'm thankful for. So I'll run through them very quickly because I feel a lot of pressure.

Troy: We'll just turn up the music when you go too long.

Dr. Chan: Yeah. I'll go quickly. I work with two amazing teams, The Missions team and the RUUTE, the Rural & Underserved Utah Training Experience team. And I just wanted to thank all of them as we've come together during the pandemic, and it's been a joy to work with them. I'll just read off their names really quickly. Lucy Hansen, Sarah Franklin, Steph Lyden, Catherine Hastings, Tyson Schwab, Ariel Fillmore, Kylie Christensen, Madelyn Carter, Megan Mckay, Elise Longnecker, Kacey Madsen, Heather Forsgren, Jess Hurtado, Jen Handrop, Maranda Martinez, Emily O'Connor, Tammy Llewelyn, and Hannah Burke. By reading their names, I'm also going to link them to this podcast, Scot. So we should have at least 20 more people listen.

Scot: I know. How terrible of a person am I? I'm like, I'm counting every one going, "Oh, if only half these people listen, that's going to be great." Yeah.

Dr. Chan: The way I look at it is during the pandemic, I really relied on the team, and I think we all relied on various people in our lives. And it was just a joy to come together and kind of work on a lot of projects, and think of creative and innovative ways to grow programs and projects. And so I'm just very grateful for them.

I think Zooming in and out every day and not seeing people in person has been, at least personally, difficult for me, but it's been a joy to work with so many wonderful people. So that's my gratitude for them.

And I think the silly . . . not the silly, but the less serious one, I'm grateful for the creation of Lego stores. I don't know if any of you have seen them at Fashion Place Mall or now the airport, but we did not have these growing up.

And maybe this is for a future podcast, Scot, but there's something about doing something with our hands, and I just love building and creating. I might be building a Lego right now as I record this podcast.

I'm really grateful for the Lego store, and there are so many choices and different shapes you can buy. And if anyone listening is into Legos, would love to swap some tips with you because I have a millions Legos.

Scot: Lego tips, huh? That's fantastic. Thank you, Dr. Chan.

We're going to take a break here and check out one of the recorded ones we got. And this is from Dr. Chris Gee. He's sports medicine. He's been on some of our shows here recently. And this is what he had to say about gratitude.

Dr. Gee: I'm grateful this year for my wife, Tamarin, because she supports me and her belief in me over the years has made me the person that I am today.

I'm also grateful for my health because I have so many patients that I see that can't run, hike, or ski, or have injuries that limit their ability to do those things. And I see how much pain that brings them. I'm grateful that I can do those things, and continue to enjoy my life and enjoy the outdoors.

Finally, I'm grateful for Arsenal Football Club because they bring me so much joy. I know, a little weird, but it's fun to watch the games, to talk to friends about the games, and to read stories and podcasts about them as well. So that's me. Thank you so much.

Thunder: I think it was kind of cool he called out being grateful for sports. It sounds kind of cliché, it's a guy thing, but sports are great because they offer an escape from what you're doing at the moment. And if your team is winning, you feel good about yourself, even though you had nothing to do with it.

Troy: Yeah.

Dr. Jones: Yeah, but your testosterone drops when they fall.

Troy: I know.

Scot: What?

Dr. Jones: Yeah. They've done this work in Brazilian or Argentine football players. People who watch it, when their team loses, their testosterone goes falling right away.

Thunder: Wow.

Troy: Yeah, it's a double-edged sword.

Dr. Jones: Sports is a double-edged sword.

Thunder: Okay. So you've got to make sure you pick a winner.

Troy: Pick a winner. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: I like how sports are also, in theory, a unifier. I mean, if you can't think of something to talk about with someone else, usually you can talk about the weather and sports. Most people in Utah like the Utah Jazz, and so I think it's always good to kind of rally around these unifying themes. So that's my two cents about sports.

Troy: I second that. I love sports. Love watching sports. I love playing sports. So, yeah, that's a good thing to be grateful for.

Scot: We'll find out in a second if you loved it enough to have it be on your top three.

Troy: Well, I kind of already said it, so I have to say something else now.

Thunder: Maybe if there's a top five.

Troy: Yeah, top five.

Scot: We're going to go ahead and do another one that was sent into us by one of the providers we're grateful for that has been a part of this podcast, Dr. John Smith.

Dr. Smith: Thank you for the invitation to give some gratitude statements, and thanks for allowing me to be part of your podcast. It's been an absolute pleasure.

I've got a couple of things that I'm grateful for. First and foremost, I'm grateful for my wife. We have been married for almost nine years. We have six kids, and she does an amazing job raising our kids and taking care of all of the things that I would just be terrible at. She's loving, caring, and just an overall sweet person that I feel very blessed to have her in my life. That's my first one.

My second is another person and it's actually another woman. It's my mom. My mom was a single mom growing up, so she's kind of the only parent that I had. My grandmother was there quite a bit, but my mom taught me things like changing the tire/tube on my bike, how to change the oil in a car, just silly things that she thought I would need to know as a young man.

They were not her forte, and she was just terrible at them, but I am so blessed that she thought enough about me to take the time to make those things part of her life that she wanted to give me. I can't thank her enough, and I'm very grateful for her.

The last thing that I'm grateful for, I love sports. I love everything about sports, what it represents. I love the stories about people's comebacks. Someone like an Alex Smith from the University of Utah breaks a leg, comes back, plays in the NFL. That stuff to me is amazing. Not to mention just the overall feats of pushing our bodies to the limits.

I love sports. Any sport, I will watch and try to learn more about because it's just something that's been ingrained in me since I was young, and I love sports.

So thanks for letting me be part of this again, and wish you guys a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful rest of the year.

Mitch: All right. I want to say something. We need to get rid of the idea of cliché, right? This idea that every single thing that you say that you're grateful for has to be some super prosaic, super unique, never been told before. That's not what we're doing here.

With the practice, we are trying to say what we enjoy. What are the things that we appreciate and bring positivity into our lives? So we now have three dudes who really appreciate their wives. That's fine. It doesn't matter that it's cliché. We have people who appreciate sports. If it's authentic, if it brings you a little bit of happiness, put it in the journal. It doesn't have to be always so big.

Troy: I was going to say too, I think it can be the same thing. Maybe every day it's just like, "Hey, I'm grateful for this," and the next day I'm grateful for that same thing. I don't think it needs to be something new every day. I've had stretches where every day I'm just like, "I'm just grateful for this one thing, and I feel that way again today."

Scot: Sure. All right. Mitch, you're next, and I hope you don't have anything cliché.

Mitch: No, they're all super original.

Troy: They better be.

Mitch: But it's authentic. It's authentic.

Scot: That's more important, authentic.

Mitch: All right. So people. I am grateful for all of the men who have been a part of this podcast because they have become a type of male role model that allows me to think differently about my health and what it means to be a man. And it's been really great.

I mean, I realize it's kind of hokey and I'm self-serving here, but for real, there's something about having all these conversations that just . . . I don't know. It's completely changed a sense of self, identity, who I can be. It's really, really meaningful to me.

As far as a personal thing, I am grateful for my grit, my ability . . . It's a term my mom uses and she loves it. It's just this tenacity to keep carrying on. I mean, the last couple years have been tough for everyone with the pandemic. Myself, personally, I had some personal life stuff that's been going on, health struggles, etc.

And I really appreciate that I still wake up, and go and try to be my best, and just get through it, just stick to it. It's something that I don't know if every single person has, but I know I have it. So it's what I like.

And then for my wild card, I am really appreciative of my Gen Z students and the new slang terms that they are introducing me to. It helps me feel connected to the new generation with words like vibe and whole mood.

Troy: Are you going to name those students, Mitch?

Mitch: No, no specific students. It's just in general.

Scot: I mean, Ben brought a whole 20 new listeners to this.

Troy: I was hoping you were going to do that for us too, Mitch.

Mitch: Yeah, let me list my 50 students. No.

Scot: That would be great.

Troy: Because I've got all of the nurses in the ER on my list. It's about 150 long. So that's next. And I'm going to tag all of them too, and hopefully they'll listen.

Scot: Hey, Mitch, I've got a question for you. Was it kind of hard for you talking about the one about yourself? Because for a lot of guys, I think that could be one of the hardest ones. And you kind of joked around it a little bit. You weren't as direct with that one as you were the first one and the third one.

Mitch: Yes. And that is something that I am constantly kind of working on. I don't know how other dudes were raised, but there was always this kind of thing, this idea that to be a man means to not take yourself seriously, to laugh about things, to make things into jokes, like, "Oh, I'm good at whatever. Ha-ha-ha," and to downplay it in a way, right?

And because of that, it does sometimes gets really hard to be like, "You know what? I like this thing about myself." There's this secondary voice inside that's like, "Okay, you can say that, but you've got to make it a joke." You have to not take yourself seriously. You have to be cool, calm, and collected.

So, yeah, I think it's hard for me. I don't know about anyone else in the room.

Dr. Jones: Well, it must have been hard for me because I said I liked pizza and that was kind of not a very "me" thing. I'm like a lab. I'm food oriented, but not sports oriented.

Mitch, having grit is a really big deal. Being able to recognize that you have it and be proud of it, that is amazing. That's great.

Mitch: Thank you.

Scot: Ben or Thunder, do you have any thoughts on what Mitch asked about? Anybody else have a hard time with number two?

Thunder: Yeah, I would agree with Mitch. I think that, in general, a lot of people are brought up to be perhaps humble and not necessarily brag on themselves. And then when you look at yourself and try to say, "This is what I'm grateful for and what I appreciate about myself," it almost seems like you're bragging on yourself. At least that's the way I kind of looked at it.

Scot: All right. I guess I'll go next. We're going to leave you for last, Troy. What do you think of that?

Troy: It's really unfair. I'm certainly not going to say anything profound, so . . .

Scot: We can rock paper scissors it, if you want to.

Troy: I don't know.

Scot: Troy, if you're feeling the pressure there, you can go next. Go ahead.

Troy: Maybe I should go next, Scot, because I know yours is going to be really good.

Scot: Well, I don't know about all that, but I'd love to hear yours. This is fun.

Troy: Okay. Well, I'm grateful for my baby girl. I have a 2-month-old baby girl at home, and I am grateful for her because every day with her is just absolutely wonderful. She keeps me infinitely entertained, and there is nothing more rewarding at this point in my life than just coming up to her, and looking at her, and having her look at me, and seeing the smile on her face when she sees me. It is absolutely heartwarming and incredible. So extremely grateful for her.

And I will say, too, several men have said they're grateful for their wife. I'm going to say I'm grateful for my wife as well. I have to say that because I can't do this podcast without saying that.

Scot: She listens.

Troy: She listens to it. I'm very grateful for Laura. Yes.

Okay. Number two, what am I grateful for about myself? I am grateful for patience. And I am not trying to say that patience is a virtue that I have, but it's something I'm trying to cultivate more.

I'm grateful for that because it is allowing me to . . . Certainly I need a lot of patience with a little baby girl. And I feel too that it's helping me to let life come at me more and just enjoy it and see what it brings, rather than trying to know everywhere I'm going to go, and what the next step is going to be, and having everything charted out. So I think that's been something I've been trying to cultivate more, and I'm grateful that I'm having more patience in my life.

And then finally, the wild card, I am grateful for a nap I took this afternoon. I dozed off on the couch. I had my little baby girl sleeping on my chest, and we both took a little nap together, and it was just wonderful. So that's what I feel grateful for right now.

Scot: All right. Well, I guess I'm going last. I wish I would've let Troy go last after hearing his. Those were great. It's been so much fun hearing everybody's. I'm on the edge of my seat hearing everybody's, so I hope . . .

Troy: And I have to say too, Scot, hearing everybody's, but to have everyone here . . . It's like those episode of that old show, "This Is Your Life."

Mitch: Oh my god.

Troy: Where they would bring all these people from your past. This is so cool to have everyone here. I'm being completely sincere when I say at so many moments I will go back to things that we've talked about, with all the guests that are here with us, and the people who joined us. It's just cool to have everyone here. So I'm thankful everyone joined us. This is really nice.

Scot: It is a lot of fun.

All right. So my first one, a person. Nothing simple with me. A little background on the person. I don't like to be a bother. I like to be as low impact on other people's lives as possible. So it's really difficult for me when I have to depend on somebody else. And I think that's because I grew up on a ranch. I was an only child. I don't know exactly.

But I am grateful for Dr. Anne Kerber, who was my master's project advisor because she took on me and my project at the last minute. Beyond the last minute, she said yes. And she was supportive all the way, not only providing the intellectual stimulation I needed to get through it, but more importantly, the emotional support because it was hard. That was a hard project for me, that final semester.

And there were times where I would just admit, "This is really challenging and really hard," or I would vent frustrations, which I would normally never do because I don't want to be a bother. But if it wasn't for her, I don't know that I would've finished that project and graduated. So I'm super grateful for her taking me on and helping me through that.

And it kind of taught me you can lean on other people. It's hard for me to do that, but I leaned on her, she was there, and she got me through it. So thank you Dr. Kerber.

For me, I'm grateful for my curiosity. Somebody else said curiosity and I think they summed it up so much more beautifully. I think it was you, Dr. Jones. It offers a world of endless wonder. I really love that.

The reason I put is it because it encourages me to learn about things that I . . . and I enjoy that feeling. I enjoy learning about new things. I enjoy finding out new stuff.

And my wild card, I'm grateful for my morning stretching and physical therapy exercises because it helps gently wake me up better than a cup of coffee. And it also makes it easier for me to move more freely and without pain throughout my day, and do the things that I want to do. So those are my three gratitude statements.

Mitch: Nice job.

Troy: Love it, Scot.

Dr. Jones: Good, Scot. Those are great.

Thunder: Beautiful, Scot.

Troy: Very strong finish. That was great.

Thunder: Good closer.

Troy: Good closer. Yeah.

Mitch: Scot, you've mentioned before that this kind of stuff is difficult. Was it hard for you to get these three together?

Scot: It wasn't. I went back to my gratitude journal that we started as a result of you speaking to our department.

Mitch: Oh, you actually did it? Okay, great.

Scot: And I kind of pulled some of those from there. The hard part . . . And the thing, again, I want to stress is when you do this once, everything takes on such weight. It's so much more fun after you've done it for three or four weeks and it becomes challenging, and you have to actually look deeper in your life to find out "What are these things I'm grateful for?"

And there are things that you are grateful for that you just take for granted. You don't realize when you have to start doing this on a daily basis beyond the two-, three-, four-week period.

Plus, also, it was really tough because I was struggling with that thing. This is the one time, the one podcast, so, "Boy, I probably should say my wife." But if you take it in the context of this is just today, and tomorrow it could very well be my wife, the next day it might be somebody else, or it might be my wife again. I mean, that's fine, right?

So it really wasn't that hard. I enjoyed this practice a lot. So I'm grateful you introduced it to me.

Mitch: Well, you're welcome.

Dr. Jones: Well, I'm grateful to be included to as many men who are willing to really put it out there. I'm very impressed. It was great to be here.

Scot: Thunder, do you have anything you'd like to say before we sign off?

Thunder: I actually enjoyed listening to what everyone else is grateful for, because that made me think even more about what I'm grateful for. So, yeah, thanks for sharing, everyone.

Scot: Absolutely. Ben, how about you?

Dr. Chan: I just want to thank everyone for being here. I'm just excited to keep the conversation going.

Scot: Mitch?

Mitch: Keep doing it. It might sound woo-woo if you're out there listening right now, rolling your eyes for the last however long this episode is.

Scot: Well, those guys are gone.

Mitch: They didn't make it to here, I know. But if you're still listening, still not sure about it, take it from someone who was not interested and did not have any sort of use for it. Try it out. Commit to a week or two. Write it in your phone. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, but just see if it helps at all.

Scot: Troy?

Troy: I just think it's so cool we have all these people here, because just in the last two months, so many things they've said have come back to me. As I was there with our baby being born, I thought a lot about what Kirtly talked about. In the last two months, I've had smoothies on a regular basis that Thunder really turned me on to. And with Ben, we talked a lot about anxiety and I've thought a lot about things we talked about with anxiety, and trying to reduce anxiety, and different practices.

So grateful for all of you being on here and sharing what you're grateful for, but I am certainly grateful for all the discussions we've had over the last several years. So thank you for that.

Scot: All right. However you do it, maybe start a gratitude practice. Try it. It can be an actual notebook, it can be your computer, it could be a cocktail napkin. It doesn't matter. Take time to think through it, write it down, those things you're grateful for, make it external to yourself, and see if it can make a difference in how you view the world, and in your mental health as well.

Thank you very much for listening, and thank you, everybody, for caring about men's health.


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