Positive Attitude

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Research Project on Gratitude and Thanksgiving was a study of 300 people to determine the role gratitude plays in a person’s life. The participants were divided into three groups. The first group kept a diary of daily events. The second group recorded their unpleasant experiences each day. The third group made a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The researchers found that those who were grateful experienced greater life satisfaction than those who recorded neutral or negative events. Those who kept gratitude records exhibited higher levels of energy, were more generous, and experienced less stress than those who didn’t focus on the positive aspects of each day.

Focusing less on the negative aspects of our lives and more on the positive aspects can help us to better cope with daily living and bring constructive changes into our lives. Helen Keller serves as role model for positive living and is known for her courage against overwhelming odds. Despite her handicaps, frustrations with learning, and numerous setbacks, she chose to move forward by focusing on what she could do instead of what she could not do. Keller chose to re-frame her negative situations and focus on the positive. As a result, she’s recognized for a life devoted to helping others and always looking forward. She said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened before us.”

Her inspiring attitude is powerfully expressed in these lines from her poem, “On Herself."

They took away what should have been my eyes
(But I remembered Milton's Paradise)

They took away what should have been my ears

(Beethoven came and wiped away my tears)

They took away what should have been my tongue

(But I had talked to God when I was young)

He would not let them take away my soul---

Possessing that, I still possess the whole.

Let's remember to have an attitude of gratitude as we approach the hectic holiday season when our patience will be tested. A positive attitude changes everything!

“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24


Anonymous said...

I remember a very popular song as I was growing up. I think it was by Jonny Mercer, called Accentuate the Positive. One phrase went "You must accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative." Jesus expressed the same thing in the Beatitudes, called Be Happi-tudes by another writer.

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