Gratitude FridayI hear it at least a few times a week. “You seem to be so happy all the time. I wish I could have such a positive attitude…what’s the secret?” It’s no secret: one of the keys to unlocking happiness is living with gratitude. Says Dr. Amit Sood of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, “Without gratitude, happiness is not accessible.”

Living with a grateful attitude doesn’t mean everything in your life is peachy all the time. It just means that you’re aware of your blessings. For some people, it’s helpful to take a few minutes every morning when you wake up or perhaps in the shower to think of a few things you’re grateful for. For me, it’s helpful to reflect on a weekly basis and write down what I’m grateful for. In whatever way you choose to recognize your blessings, commit to making it a habit for a while, and eventually you can train yourself to look for the positives instead of focusing on the negatives.

Here’s what I’m grateful for this week:

>> Safe and enjoyable travels for family and friends. Many of my peeps have been far-flung around the globe — South America, Israel, Southeast Asia, and that exotic land called Disney World. I’m so thankful their trips have been “uneventful” and I really appreciate the amazing and amusing photos and descriptions they’ve been kind and thoughtful enough to share.

>> An evening catching up with special friends we haven’t seen in a while. Truly honored to be a trusted confidante, and so supportive of the life changes they’re embarking upon. Regardless of how unhappy you are in a situation, it can be an unbearably stressful process to finally decide to do something about it. I’m incredibly proud of my friend for taking a major step toward a more positive, fulfilling future.

>> My writing coach rocks! This week he has helped me move forward and get unstuck. Yes, even Miss Happypants gets down on herself, and I’m grateful to have someone who listens, helps me refine my ideas and reminds me why I write.

>> You could try to argue with me, but you wouldn’t win a debate about who has the best sister. Because I do. For countless reasons, not least of which being she schlepped down for a day visit with her family and assorted big doggies, and it was a treat, as always. Fun and relaxing, as always. And too short, as always!

>> I am grateful to have been able to spend a lovely and long overdue Date Afternoon/Night in New York City with my honey. So nice to be a couple, even for a short time, and not have to deal with kids, clients, colleagues, problems and complaints. And I’m super thankful to my kids for not killing each other, not burning down the house and getting rid of the chicks and the empties before we got home….hee!

What are you grateful for this week? Something big? Something small? Anyone? Bueller?

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