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06/15/2012

An Attitude of Gratitude

Did you ever know a person who seems happy ALL THE TIME? (and no, contrary to popular belief the author is definitely not one of them). Did that person ever make you feel a little better about your day while simultaneously annoying you? “What does she have that I don’t?” you may wonder. “How can she be so happy when so much is going wrong? Is she oblivious or just not intelligent?”

Or maybe…just possibly she has been able to see all that she does have and she has learned to be thankful for those things. Have you ever really stopped to think about all that you DO have in your life right at this moment? Not the fancy convertible or the shore house (although these are awesome too), but just the things we take for granted that others may treasure. You have the eyes and the educated ability to read this blog. You are breathing right now unassisted. You woke up today.

One of the six aspects of wellness as defined by the National Wellness Institute is the emotional dimension which translates into optimism. Positive feeling, not just thinking can stimulate a more optimistic outlook and activity in life which can lead to a healthier well-being. Realistically life is not all sunshine and puppy dogs but we can take time to focus upon what Deborah Norville states as the “two most important words that you’ll say today that will change your life and science is proving it.” The best part is that you only have to say it to yourself and feel it. So when was the last time you said thank you?

So often we focus upon the negative…my job doesn’t pay much…I had to drive to work today…no one helps me…I only had time for one coffee. What if we changed our thinking and feeling into something positive about our situation? Something for which to be grateful?

Thank you for allowing me to be able to have a job. Thank you for the parking spot I got today. Thank you for the chivalrous gentleman who held the door open for me. Thank you for the yummy coffee I had this morning.

Wellness is not just about physical activity and nutrition. It is about the whole thinking and feeling person. It takes practice of course, just as any learned skill. But if research such as posted in the Harvard Medical School Mental Health Newsletter (2011) is focusing on the positive outcome of gratitude and well-being why not try it for yourself?

Here…I’ll start it for you…thank you for finishing this blog.

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