being grateful will improve your health

Jerks. We’ve all met them along our journey of life. The key is to know how to lower the impact they have on our happiness factor and to focus on the positive factors in our life. I’m no doctor, but I do know that being grateful will improve your health and fretting about the small stuff will contribute to illness inducing stress.

feeling-grateful

I can’t help but feel happy when I see sunflowers, and I am grateful for living in the country where sunflowers are prevalent.

Those of you who are new to this site may think that I only write about chocolate and travel. Those are certainly my priorities these past few years, but I have always enjoyed writing about the various virtues of life as one or the other takes priority in my conscious mind.

Today is such a day. I had a rather negative communication with a business associate that could have ruined my day. His arrogance was enough to turn my stomach. Instead of letting it spoil my day, I chose to focus on all the things that make me grateful. We’ve recently experienced Canadian Thanksgiving, and I know my friends in the US will be celebrating their Thanksgiving this month, so hopefully, this discussion will get us all thinking about the importance of gratitude.

Gratitude has been a regular visitor to this blog over the past seven years, and this link will take you to the 17 posts that have dealt with gratitude in some way. I have learned that being grateful and feeling gratitude have always upped my happiness factor. Does that work for you?

5 things that feed my positive energy and up my gratitude factor

music – especially the music of Bob Seeger, Jimmy Buffett, the Beatles, Alan Jackson, and Leonard Cohen that always bring a smile to my face, lift my spirit, or get my foot tapping.

my simple life – I have a husband who loves and appreciates me, a cat that I adore, good health, and a nice home in a safe community. That is all I need to make me happy.

my work – I get to work from home. I have carved a niche for myself that enables me to write about things I love–like chocolate and travel. And I have found ways to help me travel with limited resources and with the help of my travel industry colleagues. I am immensely grateful for that.

my country – I love Canada and I am grateful to be a Canadian. We generally respect one another and I think that each of us shares that enduring love for a country that welcomes newcomers, cherishes its elders, and encourages free thought.

sunshine – when it’s sunny, I feel good. And I am fortunate to live in a place that enjoys sunshine roughly 320 days of the year.

Just comprising this short list has upped my happiness factor and filled my heart with gratitude. What’s on your list? What makes you feel especially grateful?

 

 

 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

62 Responses

  1. Sabrina Quairoli
    Twitter:
    says:

    This post is so appropriate right now. I needed this with the uncertainty that is coming tomorrow with the US elections. I am grateful for my husband, my kids, my pets and my clients. I agree that being grateful helps clear up the negativity that may creep in sometimes.

    • Thx for your comment, Sabrina. Yes, I thought of you folks in the US when writing this post, as I know how difficult it must be with the uncertainty of what is to come. Here’s hoping that on Wednesday morning, all Americans find a way to work together as you move forward, regardless of which candidate wins.

  2. I concur with everything you said in the article Doreen … well said!

  3. Donna Janke
    Twitter:
    says:

    I too am thankful for the things you’ve listed. We can sometimes get so wrapped up in the chaos and complexities of the world we forget the simple things that truly bring happiness. Nice reminder.
    Donna Janke recently posted…A Merry Time at Merridale CideryMy Profile

  4. A well timed post my friend. It’s easy to get lost in all the negativity of life and forget to count our blessings. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Boy this sure was great timing! I have written about being Grateful as well. The world is a pretty negative place and there is a lot of screaming (figuratively and actually) going on. More people need to focus on the good in our lives. Thank you for the reminder <3 I am a proud American but I love Canada too.
    Suzanne Stavert recently posted…Seattle Baking Class: How to Make a Pie – Ninja Style!My Profile

  6. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    With so many changes the last two years, I can say I am thankful for my little yellow house and the roof over my head. Sunlight filtering through the leaves is also something that can make my mood brighter on the darkest of days.
    Jeri recently posted…#EditTip: The Cost of Editing (Infographic)My Profile

  7. Nancie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Lovely post, Doreen. I’m grateful for an 11-year-old kitty cat who came into my life very unexpectedly, and a job that lets me travel a lot! There’s more, but those are my two biggies right now.
    Nancie recently posted…A Peek of North Korea from Ganghwa IslandMy Profile

  8. Catarina says:

    Am always grateful for even little things. Have also concluded that most things in life are not important and hence not worth wasting time and energy on. Someone taking out their problems on me is not worth focusing on.

    As for US elections, if Trump wins it will impact the whole world in negative ways. The US will cease to be the only superpower and Russia, China, India and Turkey will attempt to fill the void. Don’t need to tell you the impact that will have on human rights, do I:-)
    Catarina recently posted…Do you know how to defuse difficult people?My Profile

  9. Great attitude Doreen! At the moment it’s easy for me to focus on what I’m grateful for because my little dog Lucy is keeping my feet warm on this chilly morning. It’s impossible not to smile when I look at my fuzzy little gal with the huge brown eyes. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Can We Be Highly Sensitive and Emotionally Resilient?My Profile

  10. Betty Jackson says:

    Well said Doreen. We all have to avoid stumbling over things thrown in our paths.
    Happily dancing down our individual pathways is a great personal journey and victory.

  11. Linda
    Twitter:
    says:

    Happiness comes in many forms to me. Being outdoors (which is where I’ll be during today’s rowdy election day), health, a cat purring in my lap, and a delicious piece of Belgian chocolate! I’m glad you turned around that negativity.

  12. Thx to everyone for weighing in on this interesting issue. It appears we all take comfort in our pets and the simple things in life in little bites that help us find the positive of the moment. Cheers to all who have shared their thoughts.

  13. Kathy Andrew
    Twitter:
    says:

    A positive attitude changes everything in life, especially when we’re faced with hardships or ill health. It’s so important to appreciate what you have – and it’s so easy to take both for granted and not recognize it for the gift it is. Great post Doreen. Thanks you.
    Kathy Andrew recently posted…Time for a Change Can be a New OpportunityMy Profile

  14. Sue Reddel
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for this post Doreen. I like you have been pondering how grateful I am about all the abundance I have in my life. I get really frustrated with people that I work with too. It’s tough to learn that you just can’t control everything. Learning to be positive, continue learning and move forward is really the only way to go.
    Sue Reddel recently posted…Gers The Heart of Gascony and South West FranceMy Profile

  15. Janice
    Twitter:
    says:

    Doreen – Practicing gratitude is something I do on a daily basis. I write down at least five to six things that I am grateful for and appreciate. It’s helped me get through a lot of tough stuff in life, which right now means teenager and all that goes with them – ha, ha. And I wish I could be Canadian…at least for today!
    Janice recently posted…Big Island, Big Fun in HawaiiMy Profile

  16. You are so right about gratitude being one of the best “medicines” we can take, and stopping for a moment to think about this can help turn a lousy moment, or day, into a much better one.
    We all have occasions when the *wrong* person crosses our path, and sometimes we have to deal with them before they are no longer in our lives. Remembering all of the *right* people in our lives–our families, our friends, colleagues we like working with–just makes dealing with the Jerks a little easier. Since you mention music, check out Connie Kaldor’s song “Jerks” from her album “Love, Life, Laughter.” It’s a great one, as is the title track. You should be able to find them on YouTube.
    Sunshine, love, friends, work that we love–it all adds up to a wonderful life, doesn’t it?

  17. Phoenicia
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you for the reminder. It does us good to remember that gratitude is important. My heart drops when I hear of and see people suffering around the world.

    At times we are seeking more in life, we can forget to be thankful with what we have right now. It is easy to take life for granted especially when you have lived a comfortable life.

    Reading the bible always humbles me. It serves as a reminder of how I should be living.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Do you keep your attitude in check?My Profile

  18. Esther
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have learned to tune into gratitude in spite of the negativity in my world. Indeed, it is a helpful tool in recovering from Adrenal Fatigue. I just have to adjust that channel from time to time.
    Esther recently posted…Family Photos from 1985 Trip to AlbertaMy Profile

  19. Suzanne Boles
    Twitter:
    says:

    I try to keep a gratitude list and I share it with a friend, but today I was feeling low and couldn’t think of things to be grateful for, though I have so many. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. Susan cooper
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love this post, it’s nice to switch it up sometimes. Thanksgiving season is always a great time to reflect on what we are truly grateful for. And right now, particularly in US with stress of elections, it’s good to focus on these things.
    Susan cooper recently posted…Just Plain Cranberry Sauce: #RecipeMy Profile

  21. Beverly says:

    You are one of the most positive people that I have ever me, Doreen. I appreciate all that I have learned from you about improving my life through practicing being positive and grateful. Please continue to write about being positive.

  22. Doreen — I have a lot to be grateful for and I truly count my blessings every day. I have my health, family and friends that I love, and a life rich in enjoyment of the arts, books, and my favorite game of bridge. I am truly a blessed person. Thanks for the reminder to always be grateful for what you have because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…#Nike “Owns” Millennials on InstagramMy Profile

  23. Stacey
    Twitter:
    says:

    I love your post Doreen! You are exactly right that practicing gratitude can increase your happiness – by 25% (according to University of California Psychology Professor Robert Emmons, PhD and gratitude expert). So it’s great for physical and mental health! I noticed that when I think about all that I am grateful for, I instantly feel better and honestly, I don’t do it enough. I am going to make it more of a habit this coming year!
    Stacey recently posted…5 Simple Practices to Wake up Grateful EverydayMy Profile

  24. At the end of a difficult day, when it seems there isn’t anything in particular to be grateful about as I write in my gratitude journal, sometimes it is enough to write: eyes and ears that work, arms and legs that move, a roof over our heads, a warm bed to lie in. Then, when I think that is the minimal I should be happy about, I realize how many people across the world do not have these things and I’m humbled. That usually knocks the brat out of me and makes me grateful for even bigger things!
    RoseMary Griffith recently posted…Take a hike! In Pittsburgh’s Schenley ParkMy Profile

    • Right on, Rose. We certainly don’t have to focus on the big stuff in order to exercise our gratitude. It’s great that you have a daily habit of taking time out to express and record your gratitude. We should all do that. Cheers!

  25. Erica says:

    Haha…many of us Americans would be grateful to be Canadian right now. And we’re definitely testing your desire to welcome newcomers.

    But seriously, of course I love this post. And it is very timely for many of us who are extra anxious right now. And I’m sitting here with my cat on my lap and my dog by my side and it really does help slow me down and help me breathe.

  26. A great post to read today when so many of us need a bit of uplifting. Mindfulness is really coming into it’s own with the powers of healing and I am so glad it is getting more attention. I don’t want to get political, so I’ll leave it by saying I am grateful to live in a democracy where there is a peaceful transition of power. <3
    alison abbott recently posted…Wellness Travel-The Azores Has it AllMy Profile

  27. Thanks for this reminder Doreen, we in the western world have so much to be grateful for even when it all looks a bit bleak. But often it’s the smaller things, like a bird singing, that remind me to look around and appreciate what I have.

  28. We drove through parts of southern Spain this summer and there were a multitude of fields filled with sunflowers – I’m with you Doreen, as they always make me smile! This was a perfect post to read today when I need to remember all the things that I’m grateful for instead of worrying about the future. The sun is shining and I can see the Atlantic ocean out my window sparkling on the Algarve coast of Portugal. Life really is good!
    Anita recently posted…Three Days in July, A Cyclorama and the Enduring Symbolism of GettysburgMy Profile

  29. Thx to all for latest comments. Here’s to positive thinking! 🙂

    Karen, you are so right re appreciating even the smallest things when we are facing a larger difficulty. Each small piece of sunshine will help to brighten the day. Have a good one!

  30. Being grateful, for anything, can generate good energy for you. When you think about it, most of the problems thrown to us, comes from an external source. How we react to them, how we control how we feel, is the only think we have control over. What is, is, feeling miserable about is not going to change anything. It is just better to enjoy the ride.

  31. Josie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Doreen,
    Gratitude and chocolate, with some travel thrown in: a perfect combo. Thanks for providing all three.
    ~Josie
    Josie recently posted…Who Were the Highly-Motivated Humans That Built Stonehenge?My Profile

  32. Jeffrey
    Twitter:
    says:

    If I’m ever stressed… especially if it’s keeping me from sleeping, I usually start listing things in my head that I’m thankful for, like family, friends, and where I live. Science shows being thankful is good for you, and I know it always works for me!

  33. I am grateful for my two grown children, who are wonderful human beings and who have made me six grandchildren that I am also gratfeful for.
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers recently posted…Great Sleeps: Fleur de Chine, Sun Moon Lake, Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, TaiwanMy Profile

  34. Sushmita
    Twitter:
    says:

    The real Gift of Gratitude is, the more grateful you are the more present you become! Gratitude is a positive emotion and helps us bring in positive energy and improvements in life. Thanks for sharing a reminder we all need from time to time!

  35. lenie
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have learned to start each day with giving Thanks. We who live in Canada have so much to be grateful for even when everything doesn’t always go the way we plan. Wonderful post Doreen.
    lenie recently posted…Remembrance Day: Sacrifices Never ForgottenMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Lenie. It’s always great to hear from you. Yes, after travelling a large part of the world, I have really come to appreciate all of the wonderful things we know as Canadian. Giving daily Thanks is a great way to start the day! Thx for sharing that habit with us.

  36. Nathalie
    Twitter:
    says:

    There’s a lot to be said about having a safe place to live and sunshine in your life. We live on the West Coast so we are very grateful when the sun finally shines 😉
    Nathalie recently posted…Movember: men’s health monthMy Profile

    • Hi Nathalie and thanks for your comment. I truly love the West Coast and have often thought that I’d like to live there (and I still may, some day.) But I do love the abundance of sunshine that we are so blessed with on the Prairies. 🙂

  37. Nice post, Doreen. I’m grateful that I have my eyesight – to read and see beautiful pictures. And I’m grateful to have the wherewithal to travel, write, and find beautiful people and places.
    Kristin Henning recently posted…Tomb of Christopher Columbus, Sevilla, SpainMy Profile

  38. Bola
    Twitter:
    says:

    Your post is a reminder to us. It’s so easy to take things for granted and also get caught up with trivial things. Gratitude gives us a lift ,like listening to the Beatles. Thanks for sharing
    Bola recently posted…How To Eradicate Boredom On A Glorious Sunday AfternoonMy Profile

  39. Being in nature…God’s creation…is something that always brings forth a grateful attitude for me. There is still much beauty in the world, like the gorgeous sunflower pic that goes along with this post. I am grateful, too, for my health, so that I can enjoy life to the full!

  40. Doreen, I interact with so many people on Facebook each week that it’s not even funny.
    Many of them have the potential to ruin my day, too, as I often respond to messages early in the day.

    (Yeah, I know I should change this habit.)

    However, I always remember that is HOW I respond to them that gives me the power of having a great day or not.

    By remaining positive (even when someone is being an ass), and choosing to ignore negativity, I am able to stay focused on my goals and keep my good mood.

    And if I AM affected negatively, I do some yoga or deep breathing exercises to clear my mind.

    Sometimes I listen to music. That always helps, too.
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…How to Find a Good Work-Life Balance (+ a FREE Workbook/Planner)My Profile

  41. Jennifer
    Twitter:
    says:

    Grateful for
    …your lovely post Doreen.
    …my creativity and ability to help others grow.
    …creating my daily illustrated series What my Coffee says to me.
    …family, friends and guides.
    …waking up everyday.
    …love that is everywhere…
    One could find millions of reasons to be grateful even the smallest moment noticed and loved can blossom into a bigger beautiful moment in life. May your cup always be full of love, hope, health, happiness and prosperity.
    Cheers
    Jennifer

  42. ALOZADE A says:

    Good posts, beautiful blog.
    Congratulations.
    Welcome to see my creations:
    http://paintdigi.com

  43. Thank you for this posting, Doreen. As you know, gratitude is one of my Six Pillars of Civility. That you have related to so many aspects of your life will no doubt help all of us see in a more expansive way how grateful we can be for even the smallest of pleasures – and that doing so makes us healthier and happier. Brava!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge