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  • Writer's pictureLiz Huggins


Recently, I was engaged in a conversation with a young man who has been working really hard to turn his life around. He’s made a great deal of progress and continues to learn and grow. Even with all the progress, he said to me, “I don’t know how to be grateful. Will you work with me?” Of course, I said yes, I’d love to!

What IS gratitude? Well, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary, gratitude is “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” That seems simple enough but, let’s face it, life can be so fast moving, changes, transitions, decisions being made constantly (both big and little) -etc. that being grateful is not on our radar and-it SHOULD BE!

Gratitude keeps us focused on the present. We are able to appreciate what we DO have instead of what we DON‘T have. Being grateful and noticing all the blessings we enjoy in life creates positive emotions and positivity is a much healthier and happier way to approach life!

Here are just a few benefits of practicing gratitude, there are many more!

*We will feel less anxious-it’s a good way to “reset” our minds and realize what is good

In our lives.

*We will be more resilient-being able to recover from unexpected struggles and/or

Changes in our lives.

*We will experience increased positive feelings which will help us increase our

Emotional wellbeing.

*We will be healthier-positive people tend to practice positive actions. They will take

Better care of themselves, they’ll look for all that is good and will be able to greet

Each day, each challenge as another opportunity to learn and grow.

*Improve relationships. Let’s face it, we are more inclined to want to be around people

Who will lift us up spiritually and emotionally. People who validate us tend to be

more appealing to talk to and help us to stay positive too!

“My socks may not match but

My feet are warm!”

Maureen McCullogh

Here are just a few suggestions on how you can get started on your ”Gratitude


*Keep a journal-Give it an appealing title and EVERY DAY, write down at least

One thing you appreciated about the day.

*Take time to enjoy the outdoors. Even a few minutes of fresh air and communing

With Mother Nature-enjoying the colors, the bird songs, the sky...will lift you up!

*Smile-just the act of smiling triggers positive chemicals in your brain and, a smile

Is much more appealing than a frown!

*Post positive messages around the house and your workspace. They are great

Reminders to appreciate what you have!

*Live “mindfully” be in the moment, don’t be worried about the next project, the

Next errand, the next obstacle, stay focused on what you’re doing, notice how

You’re feeling, listen to the sounds around you and appreciate the progress you’re

Making right now!

*Share your journal-choose a friend (or friends) or a loved one and make it a habit

To sit down or call one another, each week and go over your journal entries. You’ll

Be amazed at all you have written!



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