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I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


I hope your Thanksgiving (if you live in the U.S.) yesterday went at least as well as mine did. I added a pretty hefty cold to my blood loss recovery which took my mind off how slow I was getting back to normal. My lowered energy level also resulted in my wife taking over the kitchen and making a great dinner with all the traditional trimmings and all from scratch. As some of you know my wife gave up cooking after what at the time she thought was the half way point in our marriage, it actually was less than half but that’s good. I normally do all the cooking and grocery shopping in our house as we work share. The family was fortunate that she has not lost her touch and I benefitted by moping around feeling tired and woozy as I went through box after box of tissues, while they helped do the work. So besides everything else to be thankful for I also was grateful for a super meal that required no work on my part.

So thankfulness and gratitude is part of my healing process and as you can see from the article I edited below it has proven therapeutic value.

Creating Better Health from the Inside Out with Gratitude

Katherine Scherer and Eileen Bodoh.

Most of us become anxious when we are not feeling well. Our stability and security are threatened, and we become fearful. “What if I have to take off from work again?” or “How will I manage if I get sick?” are questions we may ask ourselves while feeling our anxiety build. Whether we are dealing with a serious illness or just an off day, it is important to eliminate stress as much as possible. A good way to do this is to tune in to gratitude. Gratitude, like other positive emotions, has an undeniable positive effect on our health and well-being.

“A distinguished emotions researcher recently commented that if a prize were given for the emotion most neglected by psychologists in a recently published book The Psychology of Gratitude. They report that grateful people are more optimistic, more satisfied with life, and have higher levels of vitality and lower levels of depression and stress. Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress. It’s no secret that stress can make us sick, and it has even been suggested that it can kill. Researchers in the field of positive psychology are finding that positive emotions are far more important to mental health and physical well-being than scientists had ever realized.

When we are experiencing illness and discomfort, we do what we believe will help in our healing. We follow our doctors’ advice, take the prescribed medications, eat well, get plenty of rest, and try other nontraditional alternatives that promise to promote good health. But have we ever considered how important our thoughts are? Keeping our thoughts as positive as possible is critical because, generally, our thoughts precede our feelings. Positive emotions come from positive thoughts. When we think about what we are grateful for and it is something we truly value, we feel the positive emotion of gratitude.

Choosing to focus on the blessings in life and being grateful for them will help us stay positive. This doesn’t mean that we won’t ever have negative thoughts to deal with, but choosing to lift our thoughts higher with gratitude will help remove us from our victim status and empower us. Making the practice of gratitude a habit, even before we are under the weather, will help us stay well and get well sooner when we become ill.

There are always good reasons to be thankful, even if we don’t feel like it. At first, we may have to fake it until we make it. By deciding to say thank you enough, we may even find troublesome thoughts occurring less often for an added benefit. Gratitude is an antidote for depression.

There are many simple and enjoyable ways to practice gratitude. Waking up to gratitude by immediately giving thanks before we throw off the covers is a great way. This action alone can set the tone for the entire day. Another way is to begin a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal is as easy as starting a notebook in which we write down five things a day that we are grateful for. It helps us achieve a grateful state of mind. It shifts our focus away from what we don’t have to what we do have. It takes us from negative thinking to positive thinking in an instant, and we may be surprised at how much we find to be grateful for.

When we stop for a moment, look at our surroundings, and focus on our gifts, we realize how much we have to be grateful for. The gifts of hearing, sight, and clear thinking are invaluable, yet we often take them for granted. Family members and friends, nature and its beauty, and positive actions that improve our world are good examples of things to be grateful for. The list of things we have to be grateful for is endless, and the more we are grateful for, the more we will notice how much we have to be grateful for.

Because we have a natural tendency to focus on the negative, it is important to make a conscious effort to stay positive, and cultivating gratitude is one way to do this. The practice of gratitude has the power to turn our focus from our logical minds to the positive feelings we carry in our hearts. Why not practice gratitude until it becomes a habit?

* Make a commitment to be grateful every day.

* Find at least one person to say thank you to every day.

* Give thanks and praise for your loved ones every day.

* Send thank you notes more often.

* See the beauty in nature and be grateful for it.

* Look for the good in everything.

* Find a gratitude partner and share positive moments of gratitude.

* Take great care of yourself and choose to be grateful for all the gifts in your life.

~~~

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

~~~

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead.

She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then she asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?"

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up!"

~~~

Happiness is the delicate balance between what one is and what one has.

F. H. Denison

~~~

A woman in her late 80s decides to move to Miami. As part of her preparations, she goes to see her doctor to get all of her charts.

The doctor asks her how she is doing, and she gives him the litany of complaints: "This hurts," "That's stiff," "I'm tired and slow" and so on.

"You have to expect things to start deteriorating," the doctor says sympathetically. "After all, who wants to live to 100?"

The woman looks him straight in the eye. "Anyone who's 99."

~~~

Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

~~~

A lady golfer visits a driving range to tone up before a game. She is about to drive her first ball off the mat when she notices the man next to her.

"Pardon me, sir" she said. "You are aiming in the wrong direction - back towards the golf shop."

"Oy! - tanks for dat. Vitout you, I vouldn't know. I'm blind."

He then turned around and started hitting out into the range. After a few minutes, he asked the lady how he was doing.

"Not bad." she answered. "Most of your shots are straight and fairly long. Only a few of them are slicing."

"Tanks, again, Miss. " he replied. "Vitout you telling, I vouldn't know dese tings."

A few shots later, he inquired again. "Do you mind I should ask a poisonal qvestion?"

"Not at all," she replied.

"I don't do vell vit the ladies. Am I ugly or fett?"

"You're quite presentable," she replied. "I don't think that should be a problem."

Smiling now, he exulted, "Vat a relief. I vas always afraid to ask. Again, I got to tank you."

He was about to hit another ball when the girl interrupted him. "Do you mind if I give you a bit of advice?" she asked.

"Vit gladness. All the help you got I vill take." He answered.

"Lose the Jewish accent." she replied. "You're Chinese."

~~~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melodie Beattie

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.



Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.



This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

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