The road to living a grateful life is not always a smooth and paved one. There are curves and roadblocks that can send any thoughts of gratitude far off into the distance. Life is constantly changing and during the lows of living, thankfulness can be the last thing that comes to mind.
Yet, it is during those lows that I find a thankful heart to be one of the most uplifting and beneficial additions to my life. By staying focused on what I am thankful for (instead of concentrating on the potholes), I can stay more focused on what is really important in my life.
According to an article on Today, research has shown practicing gratitude can help improve sleep, lower blood pressure and bring more joy into your life. The biggest joys in my life are my husband, my three children, two daughters-in-law and my grandchildren. I am blessed to have the family the Lord has given me, and I can’t help but feel thankful for them each and everyday.
Since being diagnosed with MS, I am grateful that I am still able to walk with assistance and can have as much independence as I do. By keeping my focus on my gratitude, I can keep my spirits up ― which, in turn, is helpful to my overall health. After dealing with depression throughout my life, I’ve experienced the negative impact it can have on my body. I believe depression kicked my MS into overdrive, so I try to stay as positive as I can.
Being grateful is a learned process. If you are in the habit of seeing the negatives, try to make a conscious effort to look around and find the positives. Believe me, they are there. One example is the open kindness of others.
Yesterday, I was approaching the elevator at the doctor’s office and there was a man with a walker just like me. He pushed the elevator button and the doors opened, but he wasn’t quick enough to get in before the doors closed. The expletives that echoed through the foyer of the building were many, but I didn’t blame him. It is a very frustrating position to be in, being disabled is not easy!
But the positive in that situation was a woman who came to his aid. She quickly pushed the elevator button, the doors opened, she held the doors as he entered. That act of human kindness was a moment to be thankful.
If you take the time to really look, people and things to be thankful for are all around us. The road of life is all about choices, and I have found choosing to live our lives with a thankful heart can bring an abundance of benefits to us, our health and to those around us.
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