Lately, I have been reading about the positive effects of a positive attitude. Of course, we have many would-be helpful friends who offer the suggestion that thinking positive will save us from cancer, but we know the truth.
Yet, we also know that when we feel positive, we feel better. Simply put, regardless whether the positive attitude has an effect on extending our life, it does have an effect on our day-to-day living as well as the effect we have on those around us. We all know this. Sometimes, however, even for us who have never been clinically depressed, cancer surrounds us with its negative pall with enormous strength. We fight the tears, the fears, the thoughts of gloom.
How do we escape this negativity on those days. Aside from the meditation or medication, the activities—if we are physically able—and other coping mechanisms, I have found a new source. The gratitude list. In recent and continuing studies, researchers are finding that a steady practice of writing a daily list of things for which we are grateful results in making us happier. One study showed that in only 21 days the subjects keeping a gratitude list tested happier than the control group on a psychological profile of well-being.
So I have added to my other daily objectives a list of gratitude. I have not yet completed a month of this new practice, but I know that every time I finish my list, I have a brief sense of euphoria not unlike the high from dancing a rigorous piece or winning a wicked game of tennis. And while rigorous and wicked have left the building of my activity, I don’t have to strain physically at all to find five to ten reasons for being grateful. The result is most gratifying.
What is your list today. Here is mine, in no particular order.
my husband, my sister who’s coming to visit with my great-niece, my relationship with my niece, no tummy tantrums, the joy of music, my friends, watching bald eagles raise a family
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© 2004–2011 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.