Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

Practice Gratitude To Increase Your Happiness

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Mar 4, 2015 8:41 PM

A business professor once told me that the keys to happiness are gratitude, forgiveness, and optimism. Simplistic as that sounds, I was hit between the eyes with the gratitude part several times this week.

First, there is the film festival director with Parkinson's . She knows who she is. I bet she's totally grateful for film, a device which provides worlds of experience beyond what our bodies can handle. Then, there's the complainer who always wants more than he has, give an inch-take a mile-attitude, who needs a reminder to be grateful for what he already has, which is plenty. Next, there's the married woman who dreams of a Prince Charming above and beyond anything her husband is capable of delivering. She straightens out when supporting her friend  who's husband is very sick and when talking with widows, who are developing a new life on their own admidst their memories.

We're all scared by what evil goes on in the world. Do we ever remember that as bad as things are (think cult-driven violence), every time in history had equally bad episodes of evil or even worse and more widespread (think major slavery and frequent genocide)? Be grateful for the improvements, while brainstorming how to combat the bad trends.

 Whatever we do, someone can do it better. Whatever we have, someone has more and something of a higher nature, like love instead of money. Enjoy their good fortune. Be happy for them. Be grateful it's not worse for you and thankful for what you have. You'll be much happier.

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