Gratitude – Just What the Doctor Ordered

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You are probably aware that showing gratitude can bring a deep sense of happiness, right? Well, did you know that it could also bring better health? It’s true! If you get into the habit of practicing gratitude each and every day, studies have shown that it will make your immune system stronger, and help you approach life from a more positive perspective. A researcher from the University of California discovered that grateful people seem to take better care of themselves in general, and when we take better care of ourselves, we are naturally healthier.

We all have those “off” days when it is difficult to unearth the gratitude that is buried within each of us. We might be in a bad mood, or recovering from some unfortunate incident, and find that it is simply hard to think of anything for which to be grateful. Never fear! Thanks to Kim Serafini, who is an expert on the use of Positive Psychology, there is a new book called “I Am Gr8ful For Life,”http://www.iamgr8ful.com. that can help summon feelings of gratitude and the happiness that goes along with it. This gorgeous book is full of useful resources to help evoke that grateful frame of mind. I recommend you check out the book on her web site at: It really did wonders to help me through some tough times. Now, I glance through it several times a week, always discovering something new for which to be grateful.

The health effects that accompany expressing our gratitude have recently become a hot scientific topic. Studies show that our expressions of appreciation are genuine sources of human strength. This strength enhances our personal and relational well-being and makes us happier, healthier individuals.

In other words, be thankful and be well.

Happiness can lead to lower blood pressure and a myriad of other positive health effects.  For example, it can lessen the dangers of stress. Research has shown that happier people can have stronger cardiovascular systems and a greater likelihood of reducing their risks of other serious diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.

If you need a bit of a boost in reducing stress, I have recently made an exciting discovery called “Lithos Therapy.” If you truly do want something for which to be grateful, you can thank whoever came up with this fantastic idea! This amazing way to relax and unwind is truly unique. During Lithos Therapy, both heated and chilled rock instruments (much like marble sculptures, not river stones) are used during massage to evoke a sense of peace and relaxation. You can read more about it at:  http://www.lithos.com.au/WhatIs.php. This is one more fabulous way of helping us all be healthier and happier.

Each week, as you go through your daily routine, try to focus on at least five things that you feel thankful for.

They can be small things. If you are unable to think of any, go through the inspirational readings in Kim Serafini’s book until you find some. As you direct your focus on them, be aware of the sense of peace that overcomes you and know that you have just made yourself healthier.

The Art of Gift Giving

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I am a gift giver who is always on the lookout for new ways in which to show someone gratitude and appreciation for having touched my life. One of the best things I’ve found in a long time is a wonderful new book that is written exclusively on the subject of gratitude. I love the idea of expressing gratitude with an entire book about gratitude!

Kim Serafini, an expert on the use of Positive Psychology, is the author of the new offering “I Am Gr8ful for Life.” It is full of beautiful and valuable resources that deal with ways to summon gratitude. If you are looking for the perfect gift, I recommend you check out her book on her web site at: http://www.iamgr8ful.com. Kim’s book can truly help you get back on track with positive thinking if you find yourself, or the intended recipient, mired in negativity.

Virtually every culture exercises this custom of gift giving in one way or another. For example, in Japan, gifts are given as a matter of social duty with a whole slew of tradition attached, including devaluing the gifts and often, taking great pains to wrap it in unusual and attractive ways. I do not feel so socially dutiful when I give gifts, as much as I genuinely feel the desire from my heart to do so.

Before you give someone a gift, you should ask whether the giving of it is truly for the person to whom you want to give it, or if it is being given for you to gain something. If you give to someone in order to achieve personal gain, this is not a pure expression of gratitude.

There are those gifts that are given as a part of creating and affirming ties with a fellow human being, and those that are charitable gifts; the purpose of which is to provide help wherever it is needed, but not to create a debt of affection.

Gifts need not be elaborate to express gratitude. The important thing is to be mindful of the recipient.  Try to show that person that he or she is appreciated by paying particular attention to what makes him or her special, and try to focus on what he or she might want other than something you personally like for yourself. Then consider giving something reflective of that. Try to keep in mind that gift giving shouldn’t be so much about the thing one gives, as it is about the sentiment expressed and the thought that went into it.  After all, “The best things in life aren’t things.”

One of my favorite things to give is the gift of relaxation. I have found a product that is tantamount to giving someone a little mini-vacation that they can take without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes. It is called “Lithos Therapy,” and is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Both heated & chilled ‘rock instruments’ (a little like marble sculptures, and not at all like river stones) are placed on the recipient’s back to evoke a sense of peace and relaxation. You can read more about it at:  http://www.lithos.com.au/WhatIs.php. Whomever you give it will surely love it!