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Welcome to all you faithful followers and thank you for your devotion in helping break the stigma and your willingness to share your experiences and ideas. As usual, Thursdays are for episodes of  Attitude of Gratitude.

Today, I want to dig into what is behind this cute saying – attitude of gratitude. We all know that it is proper to be grateful for things that we receive. As a child growing up, my parents taught me to express thanks for a gift or a compliment that came my way. Okay, translate that to adulthood and it means that I should send a thank you note or make a call or just verbally express appreciation for something I benefited from.

An attitude of gratitude goes further though. Early in my marriage to my husband, Ari, I witnessed his enthusiastic appreciation for simple things in his life. Before he would sip his morning coffee, before he would recite a blessing on his drink, with a huge smile on his face, he would stop and say, “thank you G-d for this delicious, hot drink, filled with flavor.” What was my reaction? I would roll my eyes and think to myself, ‘that’s weird.” Or if he chanced to pass one of the children, Ari would bend down to give them a hug and passionately announce, ‘Thank you G-d for this delicious child that you have given me.” Similar scenario for the enfusion of fall’s crispness. Ari would take a deep breath and verbally express his gratefulness for the gift of clean,crisp air.

I don’t think that we humans are born with gratitude. It needs to be developed. It needs to be practiced. To notice the minutiae of one’s day and realize that we need to appreciate the things we take for granted – like sweet strawberries, a cool breeze and indoor plumbing. Once the habit is in place, the number of times we will notice things will multiply exponentially. Numerous occasions will pop up and you will increase the joy in your life every time you take advantage. Enunciating thankfulness that is truly felt, will infuse your life with exuberance. The people around you will take notice. I can vouch for that.

When I began to practice an attitude of gratitude I didn’t roll my eyes at my husband’s demonstrations of appreciation. I understood how much it enhances a person’s life. Aside from upping your level of your day to day, having practiced gratitude aids you when the challenges come calling. And they will; they always do. With a natural habit in place. of looking for good, a person is able to look beyond the challenge and find the positive and work through the tough things and come out whole and happy – not broken and down.

Each morning, as soon as you open your eyes, seek, search for something to be grateful for. Express it – to yourself, your spouse, a friend, a roommate, or your children. Before your mind closes down for the night, think through the day that just past and find the nuggets of gold in them and say thank you for them.

I wish all of you, long lists of gratefulness to fill your hearts and minds with joy and thanks. Much, much appreciation for your coming along with me in the journey of helping others to obtain and maintain a positive, healthy mental disposition.

Be well and happy times!