The familiar phrase, Count Your Blessings, should be taken quite literally, according to Dr. Dan Tomasulo, a Columbia University psychology professor who specializes in depression and Positive Psychology. (The Power of Positivity, Healthy Living Magazine, March/April 2016)
He states that thousands of years ago humans needed negative thoughts for survival because they did not trust people outside of their tribes. They also worried about what plants and animals were safe. Because of these learned behaviors our negative emotions tend to be stronger than positive emotions. To counteract this natural disposition, we must rely on intentional activities to deliberately increase well-being and keep negative thoughts at bay. One activity – that takes the same amount of time as it does to brush your teeth – is to count your blessings. As you brush your teeth each morning (and night), take a gratitude review. Look back at the last 24 hours and highlight the specific things you are thankful for. This simple activity can help you feel better, appreciate the little things, and create feelings of optimism.
You might try this activity while your Maine Warmer is heating in the microwave for a few minutes. Then write down and reflect on your list of blessings as you enjoy the soothing warmth.
Note: Dramatic findings from The Nun Study showed that attitude can profoundly influence the quality and length of our lives. The Nun Study is a longitudinal study of 678 Catholic sisters 75 to 107 years of age who are members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame congregation. It looked at the impact of positive emotions and attitude on longevity and well-being.
“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles…by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” ~Mark Twain