Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Positive Attitude: A Gift Unveiled Part III

Oprah keeps a gratitude journal. Daily, she writes down five things for which she is grateful (Harpo, 2014). 

Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness, and this thankfulness can encompass the smaller and larger components of our lives. Expressing your gratitude can be beneficial. The quality of life improved in organ recipients who kept a gratitude journal in which they acknowledged for what they were grateful along with the reasons for their gratefulness. This happened in just three weeks of keeping the journals (as cited in ScienceDaily, 2013). Symptoms of depression decreased in participants of a study who wrote letters to others expressing their gratitude (Toepfer, Cichy, & Peters, 2012). 

Start your own gratitude writing:
  • Designate a journal for your gratitude (you can also keep an electronic journal).
  • Make gratitude writing a family activity in which all members of the family contribute to it.
  • Include pictures and small mementos, such as a leaf, a swatch of fabric, or a feather.
  • Incorporate your senses: what you heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and touched.
  • Periodically reflect on what you wrote, especially on the days you need encouragement.
  • Instead of only listing items, explain why you are grateful.
  • Consider using a cork or other decorative board in which you prominently post your expressions gratitude. The visual aid becomes a constant reminder of your gratitude.
  • Write from a spiritual perspective; express your gratitude in the form of a prayer.
  • Write letters to others to express your gratitude.

Dear Journal,
Last night I had a feeling that I should reset my wake-up time on my alarm clock a few minutes earlier. Overnight, the weather was bad. We had a mixture of snow and sleet. As I drove on the freeway the following morning, I had an encounter with a patch of ice. My car spun out of control. Within seconds, I was facing a fortress of glaring lights that stretched over the horizon of the freeway. It was the headlights of multiple cars rapidly approaching me head on. But because I left home a few minutes earlier, I had enough time to turn my car around and avoid a massive head on collision. I am grateful for that little unction, for if I had not left a little earlier, I would have been involved in a multiple car accident. Who knows what the consequences would have been?

For what are you grateful? Why are you grateful for it? This is the story in you. Share it.


#gratitude   #gratitudejournal   #OprahWinfrey   #Oprah’sgratitudejournal   #organrecipients   #qualityoflife   #depression   #depressiondecreased   #prayer   #lettersofgratitude   #benefitsofgratitudewriting   #ScienceDaily   #ToepferCickyPeters

ScienceDaily. (2014). Gratitude is good Retrieved from
Toepfer, S., Cicky, K., & Peters, P. (2012). Letters of gratitude: Further evidence for author benefits. Journal of Happiness Studies. 13, 187-201. DOI 10.1007/s10902-011-9257-7

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Positive Attitude: A Gift Unveiled Part II

When you look at this picture, what do you see?

Did you see a glass half empty? Or, did you see a glass half full?

A positive attitude involves positive thinking, even in the midst of what appears to be a negative circumstance. It is a decision you make. And sometimes you may have to struggle to maintain your decision to think positively, but it is worth it.

The benefits of positive thinking encompass the quality and quantity of life. Many positive thinkers experience enhanced immune systems. This may reduce their risk of disease, from catching a cold to having heart disease. Fewer positive thinkers suffer from depression. And many positive thinkers enjoy longer lives (Mayo Clinic, 2014).

When Corrie ten Boom was imprisoned in a concentration camp, her sister Betsie inspired her to be thankful in the midst of their horrible situation. They began to see the crowded room in the camp as an opportunity to share their faith with more people. The camp was infested with fleas, and yes, Betsie encouraged Corrie to be thankful even for the fleas. Although Corrie had her doubts about being thankful for fleas, later she learned that they had less supervision in their area because the guards didn’t want to be near the fleas (as cited in Broadcaster, 2013). Corrie survived the concentration camp, and established a rehabilitation center for other survivors (A&E Television Network, 1996-2013).

“I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” ~ Denis Waitley (as cited in Goodreads, 2014)

Although having no feet may be a challenge to some, it did not prevent Amy Purdy, who has no feet, from dancing. She danced with Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars and finished to a standing ovation (Time, 2014). At age 19, Amy contracted bacterial meningitis, which led to the amputation of both her legs below the knee. By the way, Amy is also a Paralympic snowboarder (Purdy, n.d.).

To reach beyond your circumstances, make a decision to be a positive thinker, and be grateful for what you have.

With a positive attitude, look at your “glass.” What do you see? This is the story in you. Share it.


#positivethinking  #glasshalffull   #glasshalfempty   #CorrietenBoom   #CorrietenBoom'ssisterBetsie   #AmyPurdy   #DerekHough   #DancingwiththeStars   #standingovation   #paralympicsnowboarder   #bacterialmemingitis   #fleas   #concentrationcamp   #DenisWaitley   #manwithnofeet   #MayoClinic   #immunesystem   #long life   #increaseyourlifespan   #preventheartdisease  #depression   #reducedepression   #amputation   #amputee   #doubleamputee