Happy Healthy Being Blog W.O.W(Word of the Week): Gratitude

HI everybody, Barbara Cookson here with the Happy Healthy Being Blog Word of the Week! This week the word is Gratitude.

I was reminded this week of gratitude, I was working Monday morning and started in my week with my massage therapy clients.  I went to the microwave to start heating up a little neck warmer and the microwave died.  It zapped and sparked and the lights went off, it was dead.  I was reminded instantly of an incident years ago when my dad was alive.  I had the whole family over for a big dinner hurrying around the kitchen, getting my meal ready.  I went to check the roast in the oven and the oven had died.  It was cold.  My meal wasn't cooking and I had no way to cook it.  I got very negative and very angry and I started complaining about my stove and the repairman who was supposed to have fixed it.  My Dad came over to me very quietly and said, "Babe, at least you have a microwave." It stopped me dead in my tracks.  I've remembered that story so many times over the years when I've started to complain about something or felt like something was going wrong and I felt like I wasn't being grateful.  I'm reminded if that over and over and over. 

The quote I came up with today is from Melody Beattie:  
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal to a feast, a house to a home and a stranger to a friend."

There was a study done at UCDavis in 2003.  A comparison study.  They found that people who kept a gratitude journal and wrote down the things they were grateful for, after a week, were actually happier, they had less physical symptoms, they slept better and overall were happier and met the week with a happier attitude compared to those who just wrote down neutral happenings and negative things they were recording.

I'd like to propose that in the coming week, we start a gratitude journal.  Every evening when you sit down on your bed to get ready for bed, write down a few things from the day that you're grateful for.  It can be anything, it can be something little or something big.  Just find something that you're grateful for.  I had a client this week that came in my office and we got laughing.    
She said "This week sucks!  I've had a terrible week!"I started laughing and I told her what the word of the week was going to be and I said, "you know, there is something you can be thankful for".  If you've had a terrible day and a terrible week, be grateful that it's over!  and that tomorrow morning you can start fresh with a brand new day.  

The poet Maya Angelou says "Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer".

So tonight and every night for a week, sit down and be grateful.  Think of some things you're grateful for.  And I want you to look at it another way too.  During your day, doing something kind for someone else.  Be nice to someone else.  With the idea that when they sit down at night with their gratitude journal,  they might just be thankful for you.  

So this week's word of the week is gratitude.  Be happy, be healthy and enjoy your week!


0 #2 Sharon Boucher 2013-10-30 19:55
It is a great way to s*rt your day. I have just s*r*d doing this as I drive in to work in the morning and have found that it really does change your mindset!
+1 #1 Sarah McVeigh 2013-10-07 11:06
It is always good to be remin*d to stop and notice. It doesn't mat*r what is happening, the good, bad, or ugly. If we stop and notice there is always something to be gra*ful for. Thanks for the remin*r!
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