Day 122, Recognizing Mini-Blessings and Science Has Proven That Feeling Gratitude Elevates Mood

Being grateful for even the smallest things can make life more rewarding for us. In the case of Corrie Ten Boom and her sister being grateful made life more bearable when they were imprisoned in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp in Germany during WW II. In the book “The Hiding Place” Corrie’s account of her family’s history of hiding Jews in The Hague and subsequently being discovered and imprisoned, she tells of the relief she and her sister had for having lice in the camp. Because they had lice, the German soldiers avoided them and did not abuse them sexually. This particular camp was a female camp and sexual abuse was rampant.

Reading Corrie’s passage reminded me again of the Buddhist story that repeats this line over and over: “Who’s to say if it’s good or bad?” Difficult circumstances are just that at a moment in time and might well turn out to be beneficial or “good”.  Both the Buddhist tale and Corrie’s recounting of her situation have helped me take stock of what I am grateful for many times a week.  

After many years of roleplaying and watching others role play and generally experiencing a wide range of negative emotions, I was sure that anger, fear and hate affected the chemical makeup in a body within minutes. I could feel it and could observe it in clients. Now, a medical researcher friend recently shared with me that science has proven that positive emotions (and negative ones) cause chemical/hormonal reactions within 2 seconds of being felt. 

And that is reason enough to aid Super-Aging by learning to be grateful and learning to manage our emotions. Following is a link to some interesting research on gratitude:

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