Tag Archives: gratitude

Kindness Always

One Million Acts Of Kindness is a goal. A goal for each person to individually perform One Million Acts Of Kindness in their life. Can you imagine a greater goal for one’s life? It is a constant mind-set of kindness every day of your life for the next fifty-five years. Doing for others and kindness in your heart for everyone. It is my wish that you will dedicate your life to a charity… finding the passion in your heart for something or someone in need.

onemillionacts

As a father of three college age kids I am concerned for the world in which all kids will live. A great way to create a safer, more caring world is for everyone to start their lifetime goal of One Million Acts Of Kindness. So I bought a bus, had about sixty family members, friends and neighbors help paint it and began a ten year journey with my Boston Terrier, Bogart, to college campuses across the country hoping to convince as many of you as possible about this much needed movement for this world. I love you guys too much to sit back and not do anything about this. Let’s start a kindness movement in this country today to change the direction this world is headed!! You are the change that this world needs.
—  Bob Votruba, http://www.onemillionactsofkindness.com/

Learn more about this amazing man and his journey at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


Register

Be Grateful

By Dr. Ken Larsen (Originally posted 4/11/14)

Those familiar with the New Testament can recall the story of the ten lepers who were healed.

My father in law was a good friend and he liked to keep that story in mind.  Especially the part where only one returned in gratitude to say thanks.  Ten men were given the gift of a fresh new life.  Only one returned to say “Thanks.”

That’s a good story to remember as we face the challenges and difficulties of life in these often troubled times.  Even though the question “is your glass half full or half empty” is a bit of a cliché, it still contains enough wisdom to get us to think about our life and the choices we have as we live it.

happypeople

We have a choice in how we focus on the life we are living and the people in it. We can be focused on our complaints, or we can focus on what is good and true and beautiful.

Early in my marriage someone reminded me that clean socks and underwear didn’t crawl into the drawer by themselves.  I started to say thanks for the many ways my wife was making a home for all of us.

Think of the many people that serve us daily.  From the mail man to the guy who picks up the garbage and on and on.  A word of thanks and a warm smile can go a long way to making a long hard day a bit easier.

We’ve learned that we have choices and that the choices we make determine the course of our life.  Those choices often have an impact on the quality of our life and the lives of others.  Being grateful internally and expressing our thanks externally can move us all to a better experience of life.

Turn Your Complaints Inside Out

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Complaining is one of the deadly habits that can help destroy relationships, according to William Glasser. Most of us can quickly name the expert complainer in our own lives. Sadly, this is the person we try to avoid. And sometimes the complaining person is yourself whom it is impossible to avoid.

Quite simply stated, complaining is unattractive and detrimental to our mental health and happiness.

However, complaining is part of human nature. Why? Because our brain is set up that way. Here’s the bad news: our brain is hardwired to notice what is not right, or off, or a mismatch between what we want and what we perceive we’re getting in our world. This brain attribute is necessary for our survival. But this also means our brain notices almost everything that is wrong in the world, according to us. When we notice out loud it sounds like complaining.

Most of us occasionally comment about these mismatches, or differences. Some people comment and point this out a lot—ugh! (If you want to read a plethora of celebrations of complaints about these mismatches spend time reading Facebook posts.This is our present public forum where we complain and like the world as it should or should not be according to us — just as our brain is designed to do.)

If you spend any time on social media you may have noticed advice from some recent blogs regarding happiness. We are encouraged to stop complaining for twenty-four hours. Great idea! Great advice! However this is easier said than done. Our brain keeps getting in the way, noticing and pointing out all that’s wrong: the weather, the traffic, the temperature of our morning brew, our co-workers, our relatives, our neighbors, our politicians, and on and on and on it goes. And when we comment on all of these things, it comes out as complaining.

If today is the day you want to give up complaining for twenty-four hours to improve your Mental Health & Happiness, here are some tips to honor your brain and still succeed. When you notice what is wrong start asking yourself what you want instead of complaining about what is wrong.

It will sound like this “There are no more seats in this waiting room. I would like to sit down. I’ll sit on the floor.” or “There are no more seats in this waiting room. I would like to sit down but I’ll take this opportunity to stretch.”

Today, every time you notice something worth complaining about, start declaring what you want instead. Are you able to get what you want? Good for you. Are you able to change what you want instead? Does that help? Are you able to see the advantage or alternate payoff for getting something different from what you want? Does that help?

An additional strategy is giving thanks and being grateful for what you’ve noticed in the world, yourself and other people, even if your first impression is a complaint: (aim for a neutral tone and avoid a sarcasm)

I’m grateful for the traffic that will make me late for work.

I’m grateful for the package that has still not arrived in the mail.

I’m grateful that my co-worker is refusing to help me complete this project.

I’m grateful that my brother is not answering my calls, texts or messages. 

canstockphoto15119958Once you’ve declared your gratitude, let it go and move on. You may discover the gift, lesson or opportunity that was wrapped into the complaint as you perceived it. Or not. However declaring gratitude is much more attractive than complaining; attractive to other people as well as yourself.

When you start making these kinds of changes you may begin to get more of what you want instead of simply complaining. Amazingly, when you start interacting differently with your world of complaints you may actually begin to better understand and appreciate what you really want. Now that you have greater clarity you can act more effectively to get what you want. The result? Greater Mental Health & Happiness.

Here’s a word of caution. If you spend time complaining about other people, you still need to keep your focus on what you want, not simply focusing on how you want the other person to change. Instead of complaining, “I wish my child would stop whining. I want a child who doesn’t whine,” may sound like you’re following the advice offered here. See if you can go deeper though. If your child stopped whining and you got what you want, what would that be? Would you be engaged in a more pleasant interaction with your child? Do you want a happier atmosphere when completing a chore? Once you know what you want you can act accordingly. Start singing, smiling, offering compliments about the world, your child, yourself. Your child may still be whining. And still you can create a more pleasant atmosphere while you interact with your child lovingly, no matter how he or she is acting.

People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining — Stephan Hawking

Gratitude, the gift you give yourself

Contributed by Denise Daub

How Gratitude Can Benefit Your Physical Health All Year Long

by Lindsay Holmes Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post

canstockphoto2744335Now that we’re officially in the holiday season, generosity and gratitude reign supreme. We’re altruistic because we’re motivated at this time of year to support others who are less fortunate, and we express thanks for those who have extended similar kindness to us.

And honestly, why wouldn’t we want to tap into this sort of holiday spirit? Both generosity and gratitude have an incredible influence on our emotional health. When we practice them, we’re happier, more optimistic and have a lower risk for depression and anxiety. New research also shows that gift giving reflects how we feel about others and could give more insight into how we maintain relationships.

Yet, somehow, we really only concentrate on the benefits when the year winds down. Bah-humbug.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gratitude-benefits-physical-health_56538058e4b0879a5b0c1464?ir=Healthy%2BLiving%253Fncid%253Dnewsltushpmg00000003

What are your character strengths?

Contributed by Denise Daub

By Rebecca Scholl

Honing in on your strengths — whether its expressing kindness, gratitude or honesty — can improve your daily life. Being kind to others can actually boost your cardiovascular health. Expressing gratitude has been linked to more optimism. Being honest may improve your overall health.

Happify, a website dedicated to helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, organized a detailed infographic explaining how you can use your personal character strengths to improve your own life. Take a look at it below and get inspired to tap into what makes you unique.

Read more…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-use-your-character-strengths-to-improve-your-life_55ae5a35e4b07af29d5656eb?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

Want to change your world?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

 

 We are going to change the world,” Bill Glasser told us. And the way we are going to change the world is to change how people think.                              

handholdingworld from Barnes Boffey’s keynote speech
WGI-US Conference- Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2015.

December 2012 the second major shooting massacre in US public schools occurred. I took this as my personal call to action to bring the ideas of mental health as a public health issue through Glasser’s Choice Theory psychology. This was the source to start Mental Health & Happiness. 

On November 5, 2014 we (WGI-US) launched this site and have posted a new blog every other day since then. (More than 600 blogs have been posted to date.) In January 2014 we started offering 21-day challenges where people are sent a new challenge 21 days of a 30-day month. These challenges teach people the ideas and principles of Choice Theory psychology including how to incorporate these strategies for improved Mental Health & Happiness.*

It is rewarding to hear all of the personal stories from so many people who are sharing their gratitude  and testaments of thanks. I am amazed and delighted to hear so many people who are working in prisons share how they are offering these challenges to prison inmates to improve their lives. People in private practice and counseling are also giving this website and these challenges as addendum sources to support and help clients in therapy. All of this has been extremely gratifying and rewarding. Dr. Glasser told us we could change the world by changing how people think. This website and the challenges are proving that this statement true.

Today, more than 20 months since the beginning of taking on this project an amazing thing has happened for me personally. What has amazed and surprised me is my own personal benefits. I am happier and mentally healthier today than I was before taking on this project!

Not only am I thinking about Mental Health & Happiness regularly as I contemplate a new blog to write, or a new challenge to offer, I’m also reading the blogs and embracing the challenges. Just as I fasten my seat belt every time I’m in a car, brush my teeth twice a day, make food and exercise choices that support my physical health every day I’m also making Mental Health & Happiness choices and exercises every day to develop, improve and maintain my Mental Health & Happiness!

I love it when a plan results in success.  The result of my daily choices changed and improved my life and my world! I hope you are experiencing the same kinds of result.

*You can now purchase these challenges as an ebook. Go to

http://www.mcssl.com/SecureCart/ViewCart.aspx?mid=B0892453-54D2-4C38-AD60-01638B065A7A&sctoken=5f4c9d6e9e57436881dd6e507149352f&bhjs=1&bhqs=1

Good Morning World!

By Aimee, an enthusiastic follower of Mental Health & Happiness

When you first wake up in the morning, try to make your first thought one of gratitude.  If you slept well, that’s an easy one.

I struggle with insomnia so I can’t always use that one.  Sometimes I have to think instead, “I’m thankful that I slept better last night than the night before,” because while it wasn’t a good night of sleep, at least that statement is true.

If even that is not true, I might say instead, “I’m thankful for a comfortable bed,” for that is true even when I lie awake….it isn’t due to an uncomfortable bed.

Of course, many days, a non-sleep related thought pops into my head —gratitude for various relationships that are helping me on my journey to wellness and more in life, gratitude that I’m not alone in the the present battles I’m facing, and so on.

When I allow myself, I open up and ask others to pray for me, or to help me by keeping in touch, or some other discreet request. I find most people respond affirmatively.  The reality is we all have private worries and sorrows. So when I carefully and wisely choose someone trustworthy to open up to on days when I’m feeling particularly heavy with burdens, often that person can empathize precisely because they too have felt the same way.

Revealing our humanity, our occasional sense of being set upon, we bestow the gift of allowing the person we’ve opened up to both to have the opportunity to be kind and helpful (which people inherently enjoy) and we’ve reminded them that everyone struggles occasionally. So when they do, they don’t feel isolated or unusual.  The social masks of “I’m ok, You’re ok,” that we all too often wear, can prevent growth, intimacy and healing.

Positive Sleep

Contributed by Denise Daub

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Mood and perspective play a significant role on our mindsets before bed, which can in turn influence our quality of sleep. Think about your own experiences — is there a difference in how you sleep when you’re feeling good about things vs. when you’re feeling stressed or down? A lot of that may have to do with what you’re thinking about as you settle into bed.

Check out this collection of great quotes to read before you go to sleep…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rosie-osmun/sleep-quotes_b_7560836.html?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

 

 

 

Daily gratitude at the post office

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

Going to the post office has been a regular part of my daily routine for many years. I often have books to mail, packages to sign for and my business post box to check on.

For several years I lived in a rural part of Rhode Island where there was never a need to wait in  line. There were never that many customers. Now I’ve moved to a new state and into a city where everything has changed. Now I need a strategy about when to go to the post office. The best time is first thing in the morning, before the doors are even open. Although I still end up waiting in line, the wait is for the doors to be open instead of the long line of costumers in front of me.

Today I arrived at the post office before the doors opened. There was one man waiting in front of me. I was pleased to discover I was going to be the second person attended to. As so often happens, the fellow and I began to chat. It didn’t take long before I mentally named him Mr. Grumble-Grouch.

This is the worst post office in the district. All the people who work for the post office are just lazy. It’s because of the unions. People know they can’t be fired. It’s no wonder the post office is going bankrupt. 

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this is just a sample of all that he had to say.

I was thinking how wonderful it is that I can spend a little bit of time and a little bit of money and am able to send my book halfway around the world. I’m always delighted when I see the postal truck at my neighborhood complex delivering our mail. Yes, there are mistakes made. But I’m actually amazed at the number of mistakes compared to the quantity of accurately delivered mail. I am grateful for  the United States Postal Service delivering my mail through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night.

postalworker_4326258

Then there is Dave, the wonderful postal employee who works at my neighborhood post office. He is always polite, helpful, cheery, kind and sincere. I admit there are other postal workers at the counter who are not so pleasant or helpful. I don’t think I would call them lazy as Mr. Grumble-Grouch did. But it does seem as though they let people, events and circumstances interfere with their ability to interact kindly with each person they see. I know that the few minutes I experienced with Mr. Grumble-Grouch tested my patience and capacity for civility. And I wasn’t even the target of his angry complaining.

But not Dave. Dave has a secret. In fact the next time I’m in the post office, which might just be tomorrow, I’m going to ask him what his secret is. I know his ability to be pleasant and of service adds to my gratitude at this post office. I bet Dave has something to teach me about Mental Health & Happiness. I’m going to find out.

Stay tuned . . .

 

Grateful and Healthy

Contributed by Kim Olver

If you are signed up for the Mental Health & Happiness Daily Challenges, then you know we talk a lot about gratitude. We believe gratitude contribute to mental health and happiness. I happen to know personally that it works for me. I am happier when I focus on what I am grateful for rather than on what might be going “wrong” in my life. Now there is neurological evidence . . .

Read about it here: http://foodrevolution.org/blog/gratitude/