An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude1My program of retaining an attitude of gratitude and enjoying my life every day is going well. I’m living mindfully in the moment and taking small steps to encourage myself to celebrate life.

My life is not less stressful than it was before I began this commitment, but my coping skills are improving as I make attitude adjustments throughout the day.

Nature is a Healer

When my husband is away the phone rings incessantly, shipments go astray,  deliveries, people and checks don’t arrive on time and I become frazzled.  Rather than risking coming undone I choose to take a  nature break. Nature is a powerful healer and it’s easy to become accustomed to failing to fully appreciate it. A few minutes of mindfully basking in Nature’s beauty, breathing in fresh air and growing a  garden are the medicine I need. After I’ve had my break I can return to the fray strengthened and ready to act.

Pets, Children and Humor are Healing Agents

When we reach our 40s and 50s – there are a lot of things going on. There’s so much going on you can feel like you are over the hill before you have climbed the path.  If you realize you’re acting your age or even older – do something about it.  –  Forever Four

I have a very dry sense of humor and don’t laugh frequently enough.  However, playing with my little dogs and being in the company of children always makes me laugh. This week I am grateful for fun-filled times; times worth more than anything money can buy. Making Winter Solstice cards with my friend’s little kids and playing with my dogs elevated my mood enormously. Now I’m committed to having some fun every day to keep me in touch with why it is good to be alive.

Learning to include more humour in your life can have a significant effect on your overall health. Being able to see the funny side of things can produce general health benefits, and can also help to build and reinforce relationships. – Learn to Include More Humour in your Life

Friends Bear Healing Gifts

Even the darkest days of your life can be looked on with gratitude. We can be grateful for the friends who help us get through hard times – grateful for their smiles and their love. On Monday a dear friend, who recently struggled through a relationship break-up and eventually landed on her feet, plunked a book on my table saying, “You’ve got to read this. It’s a depression buster.”

And so I read The Bounce Back Book: When Life Throws You Curveballs, Hit Them Out of the Park by Karen Salmansohn. The book is grounded in happiness research, psychological studies and Greek philosophy and I recommend it to anyone who feeling overwhelmed. In it you will find 70 tips on how to bounce back from adversity and advice on everything from exercise and staying connected to moving forward with positive energy.

How To Enjoy Life – No Matter Your Challenges!

Discussion

The quality of my life experience is influenced by my attitude but I don’t always remember that.  Are you forgetful too?

Did 2012 hold many challenges for you?

Were there times you felt overwhelmed and sensed depression creeping in?

When times were tough, what did you do to maintain an attitude of gratitude?

29 thoughts on “An Attitude of Gratitude

  1. Pingback: Gratitude and Abundance | this time - this space

  2. Pingback: On Awareness, Gratitude and Conscious Living | this time - this space

  3. Hi TT,
    2012 is the year when I have put my heart and soul like never before. I am grateful for all the things that I wished that had happened and didn’t.
    Like you I also have a dry sense of humour, but these are times where I really have to laugh such is the surrealism of life.

    Love and light to you from Tree Spirit, may you always shine ~~~

  4. Pingback: Enjoying Life Every Day | this time – this space

  5. TT, thank you for sending me the link to your blog. There is a lot for me to read here. I looked at the picture of your dog: what a sweet face! I’m reading here about gratitude. My sister lives in the USA and she’s taking care of her 2 grandchildren for a year. She told the kids that we in Holland don’t know Thanksgiving, and they were amazed. I think we could use a Thanksgiving Day here …. I try to remember every day how blessed I am. Thank you!
    margali (marga), amsterdam, the netherlands

    • Hi margali,
      II’m glad you like my personal blog. I thought the blogging tips one would be a bit much for you. :) Mr. T is a goregeous looking dog and has a wondeful tempermament too. He immediately develops a following of admirers wherever he goes.

      American Thanlsgiving is better known. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October and is all about the harvest. As a person who loves growing food I rate it as one of the best holidays of the year.

      I think we would all benefit the world over if we celebrated thanskgiving every day of the year. I try to rememebr how fortunate I am every day but now and then I do go off-track.

  6. Very true that Nature, children, …and for me some exercise and sleep is therapeutic. Latter has been abit tough. But some exercise helps one sleep better. And making every day count in what one does and enjoy each time.

    Glad you are still “walking” your path. And hope you will always have some friends to join you from time to time.

    I wouldn’t say that I feel “over the hill”, now that one is in their 50′s. But just living more acutely– if that makes any sense. When one becomes older, it’s a far greater clarity of what life does bring and can bring.

    What I write in my personal blog does reflect those moments. Blogging on topics that captures one’s imagination and values can in itself be an act of reaffirmation for those facets of life.

    • Hi Jean,
      I’ve been doing a lot of gratitude practice and have found there are quite a few interventions that work well for me. Eating well, sleeping well and exercise are on my list too.

      My experience the same as yours ie.my life after 50 is being lived with greater clarity. And, your last sentence resonates. I’m saddened by how many friends have died so young. I assumed we would all live into our 80′s or maybe beyond that. The succession of unexpected deaths that have happened in such a few number of years has been a succession of wake-up calls. Without doubt I treasure the friends that remain even more than I have ever done before. That’s what I was trying to express to Marty (nothingprofound).

  7. Hi tt, a very uplifting blog and the video works well. I agree with the last comment, a spiritual reading can shift us back into the present moment when we go astray. The challenge is staying in the present, and it is interesting to see how you are using the practise of gratitude to achieve this.

    • Hi Jerry,
      You are the first one to mention the video. I liked it and wondered why no one else had mentioned it. Spiritual readings aren’t high on my list but quotations are. I’m so glad you find this blog to be uplifting.I have a private journal I use for self development purposes. I choose not to blog when I’m down but I do keep up my journal no matter what condition my condition is in. http://thistimethisspace.com/2010/11/09/benefiting-from-private-journal-blogging/

      • Hi tt, thanks for pointing me to the above blog, as comments are closed, I’d like to post a reply here. First, I’d like to say very briefly what personal journey I’m on, to put it in context.

        1. I think the purpose of self development / self help is to try to keep ourselves on the sunny side of the street as much as we can.

        2. On the Sunny side of the street we feel good, are motivated, and everything seems to go tickety-boo.

        3. When we are in the shadow we don’t feel so good, find it very difficult to motivate ourselves, and survive. We tend to hide our emotions and thoughts even from those closest to us.

        4. While it is wonderful to be inspired, set goals and aspirations. The reality is that there is often a chasm between aspirations and actions which is never bridged.

        5. The blog I’m trying to put together seeks to find a way to close this bridge this chasm, in three ways. One, by staying in the Now, by remaining aware, by ‘being’.
        Two, by doing, by consciously working on our goals, one step at a time.
        Three, by maintaining a balance in our life that nurtures and develops our Well-being. http://www.whitecloudcoaching.com

        I’ve much to do on my blog, to set this all up. But, thats what I’d like to achieve.

        I think that Journaling is an important tool to achieve this. Am I right in saying that you keep 3 blogs
        1. A dream journal. A private bog of your dreams and daydreams, that is not shared.
        2. A personal journal. A private blog as outlined in your post, that is not shared.
        3. A public journal. This public journal encouraging personal development that is shared with the public.

        This does seem like a horrible plug for my blog, but I have struggled to find my voice, and this is about my third attempt at putting a blog together. Its in such an early stage that its really too early for me be to be plugging it. However, what I’m really trying to achieve is to achieve in my personal life, what I’m writing about in my blog. I’d really like some feedback and support at this stage.

        Regards, Jerry

        • Hi Jerry,
          Not to worry about plugging your blog. I appreciate your comment very much. I’m approving it tonight but as it’s late I will not reply to it until tomorrow. I trust that’s okay with you.

        • Hello again,
          I agree with your 4 points above.The one – two -three step foundation you outline is critical to making any significant life change.

          “Am I right in saying that you keep 3 blogs … A dream journal. A personal journal. This public journal encouraging personal development that is shared with the public.”

          Yes you are right. :) Though I don’t frequently mention it in this blog for me keeping two other private journals is a very important personal growth practice. Meditation, music, art and gardening are also important practices for me.

          I think your blog is shaping up every nicely. I like the minimalist limited accent color approach. Blues are very calming colors especially when teamed with white. Your purpose is clearly stated. There is no decorative and distracting tat and that’s good too. I don’t wish to evaluate blogs but I can offer your an self help evaluation to use along with my encouragement. http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/01/28/12-step-blog-evaluation/

          Best wishes.

        • I find it almost impossible to comprehend the level of personal support you are able to give to each commentator. Its not a rushed off reply but a very thoughtful response indicating that you have read and listened to the comment. Thank you for taking so much time and thought to reply to my comment. :-)

        • Hi Jerry,
          Commenting and replying to comments are my weak points as a personal development and self improvement blogger. As an introvert who has never been either shy or chatty I don’t have responses on the tip of my tongue that are worth sharing. I’m a good listener and a very skilled body language reader. I’m a former horse and dog trainer and a thinker who mulls things over before I choose what to say. My communication style is more akin to the style of First Nations people than to main stream society.

          I experience an awkwardness when communicating with many women but not as much so when communicating with men. There are often times when I have mulled things over and simply have nothing of value to say. Yet, it’s my experience that most women seem to expect a response to everything they say or write. It’s also my experience that women expect to exchange confidences very early on in relationships. My early life was traumatic and I don’t wish to recount it and relive it every time I make a new friend. A simple nod, murmur or a smile of acknowledgement when confiding private information doesn’t suffice for many women. Silence can evoke even more words from some who are compelled by a strong desire for a both a response to their sharing and a confidential information exchange.

          In one-on-one and face-to-face situations, despite the fact I don’t verbalize as frequently as they do or say as much as they do, I can communicate well with most people, men and woman alike. However, groups of yammering people drain my energy and when I’m exhausted I become annoyed very quickly. When annoyed I can shoot out clipped and cutting comments that wound others because I’m not an intellectual slouch, I do hold strong opinions on many issues, and I’m not above judging nor stating that I think what I have just spent X number of minutes listening to was “noise” . By the time I was college age I learned how to avoid being in “noisy” gatherings and how to remove myself quickly from any situations where I’m likely to be pressured to respond or to exchange confidential information.

          If you haven’t read Quiet by Susan Cain, I recommend it. :) http://thistimethisspace.com/2012/03/05/quiet-and-societys-extroversion-bias/

        • Thanks tt, I’m very flattered to have received such a personal response and I look forward to reading the blog about Quiet by Susan Cain. Thank You. :-)

  8. Blogging has done wonders for me as well. Another tool I have in my kit that I marvel at how well it works…..Genuinely smile at five complete strangers everyday. I find it impossible to be stressed, sad, unnerved, etc….when I am smiling. I smile at the person in the car next to me at a red light, to the person behind me in line at the checkout counter, every place I can. I find it to be infectious in the best way. Keep on going.

  9. TT, I can’t ever remember not being grateful. I remember when I was 6 or 7 seeing the movie “David Copperfield.” David’s mother marries the horrid Mr. Murdstone who treats both of them with cold cruelty. I remember how lucky and grateful I felt to have been born into a home with kind and loving parents, not having to live in dread and fear every day. Whatever I’ve had to face in life since then, that sense of being “lucky” has never left me.

    • Marty,
      It’s so good to hear from you. For me there’s truth in the addage: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. As the circle of those I loved do dearly becomes smaller I wonder when did I grow old? It sure happened quickly. I’ve never felt the depth of gratitude I feel now at any other time in my life.

  10. Yes, I’ve had a heavy year, with periods of being completely overwhelmed this year. Starting and maintaining the blog has helped me tremendously. Not just because it gives me a space to be me and to be honest about life, but because I like having readers–knowing someone will be reading does much to think about how I frame and phrase what’s going on, influencing my attitude. :)

    I’m glad the attitude of gratitude program is going well, TT, and hope 2013 will hold healing and celebrations for you and yours.

    • Hi there,
      I’m so interested to hear that blogging anchored you. It’s so odd that one can be creative in the midst. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog and thanking you for your well wishes for 2013. I hope your upcoming year will be a healthy and happy one.

      • Thanks so much. :) For whatever reason, I’ve been successful with my attitude towards the blog, so it feels like responsibility without obligation, if that makes sense.

        Your blogs, and your writing style, are quite different than mine, which is half of what I’m loving about the blogging community. :)

  11. I’m really encouraged by how well your interventions are working for you! I love nature too and it’s all around. It’s just a question of remembering, isn’t it? I had many challenges in 2012. Listening to spiritual teachings is what gives me the best perspective and lifts me up every time.

    • Hi Sandra,
      Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve received it in many ways throughout the year through your blog. What’s resonating for me now is the gratitude and happiness connection. Yes it is just a question of remembering but remembering is a habit and habits can be neglected. Thanks for sharing how spiritual teachings lift you. I didn’t listen to many spiritual teachings in 2012 but I will listen to more in 2013.

Please leave your comment here as I treasure every one I receive.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s