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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


At a ceremony today in Fresno, California, celebrating the addition of veterans' names to the Wall of Honor, the main speaker expressed gratitude. He talked about the "luck of the draw" in being fortunate enough to have been born in the United States.  He was lucky enough not have have begun his life in a country of poverty or oppression.  He looked to be in his late 50's, so this is a long-standing fact.  But today, at this Veteran's Day event, he expressed his gratitude that he is fortunate enough to be an American.
There are fads in the world of psychology.  For awhile, doing so-called gratitude lists has been a popular suggestion.  However, some have taken this idea seriously enough to conduct research and have found there to be, it turns out, a beneficial effect.  In addition, in practice, trying it myself and observing the results with others, I can see that it is helpful.
  It is usually suggested as a mood elevator or stabilizer.  Not that this, in itself, can control one's state of mind.  But, it's worth adding to your box of tricks.  If you remember in the post, Wise Words, I quoted a client as stating her belief that we each create, to a large extent our own happiness.  It often seems easier to look outwardly for solutions, for getting fixed, or, for an emotional boost.  However, it will be more enduring and reliable if you develop some ways to support your mood yourself.

  The standard suggestion with the gratitude list is that each night , before you go to bed, you write a short list of things that you are genuinely grateful for.  The items on the list can be new, have a long history, be permanent or transient.  These can be grand changes that have manifested in your life, but they can also be the simplest of things.  For example, I am grateful that I have a comfortable mattress to sleep on, or I am grateful I didn't get loaded up with too much work today, I am grateful that the dentist didn't find any cavities in  my teeth,---I am grateful to have a dentist!   ~ Anything. ~                                                                                    
  Besides the pleasure that your brain experiences as you create this list, it also has a relaxing effect for some people.
  Try it.  See what you can come up with that is good in your life, in you, or in those around you.

What happened when you made your gratitude list?

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