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A Daily Dose of Gratitude – the Secret to Health & Happiness

Updated on August 11, 2009

Gratitude and Attitude

Healthy Habits

Did you take your vitamins today? And your medications? Between the two you might have a couple of dozen pills lying on the table waiting to be swallowed. Personally it is one of the least favorite things I do each day, or every other day, as I don’t take any medications so it’s just the vitamin supplements. It’s very important to swallow that big pill labeled Omega 3 as we hardly eat fish anymore. I love fresh salmon, tuna, halibut, cod, and other deep-water ocean fish, but where to find it in the mountains of New Mexico? We have plenty of frozen fish, mainly farm raised, but that hardly qualifies as the healthy fish one should include in a balanced diet. So we take the big oval pill once a day.

And how about that Vitamin D? It’s the sunshine vitamin that we shouldn’t have to take, really, as there is plenty of sunshine out there if we’d just go for a walk. I do that, too, but just in case it is also on the list. The B-complex are important for energy. We need A, C, and E as antioxidants and for our eyes, skin and bones. We need calcium for our teeth and bones. Then of course we need the minerals zinc, magnesium, selenium, potassium and many other trace elements (electrolytes) to keep our nervous system energetic and properly communicating.

Fresh Food

Painting by Janet Laursen
Painting by Janet Laursen

What's on your list?

Let’s not forget about a healthy diet. Eating well is ever more of a challenge as our vegetables are grown in worn out soil, then sprayed with chemicals to keep the bugs away. Organic food is expensive and oftentimes not as “organic” as one would like. If there were a farmer’s market near that would be the best option for buying healthy produce. Go to your local butcher for the best meats – who can find a local butcher anymore? Recently a couple of men showed up at my doorstep selling some flash-frozen steaks packaged in Illinois that have proven to be juicy and delicious, so I will buy from them again. Meat is a very suspect product to eat anymore given all the hormones and genetically altered super foods they are fed. To think of the way they are raised and slaughtered makes me cry, so if my boyfriend would stop eating it I definitely would be a vegetarian again. The ones who are treated the worst are chickens; they live their entire lives in a cramped, dirty holding pen then die upside down with their heads cut off. Oh, it is gruesome. Even laying chickens for the eggs we love do only that – sit and lay eggs, eat, shit, and that’s it, unless they are lucky enough to be “free range” like some beef cattle. They are in the minority I am sad to say.

The Secret

How to get around all these obstacles to good health? A daily blessing – before each meal actually is the best ritual. We thank the animals and the plants for giving us nutrition and life in exchange for theirs, and we ask that it nourish our bodies and be wholesome for our souls. Gratitude is the best attitude and allows us to smile, laugh, show random acts of kindness and appreciate our place in life. We humans at the top of the food chain in this country, in this state, in this mountain resort, are extremely privileged in the clean air we breathe, the spectacular views, the abundance of wildlife, and the beautiful skies we witness. I wake up each day with gratitude in my heart. I go to bed each night with gratitude in my heart. We bless our food, our water, our home, our family and our friends. We count our blessings daily. Daily Gratitude goes a long way to helping one feel true happiness. I’ve got my aches and pains as I grow older. I’ve been out of work for a couple of months now; I drive an old jeep with 200,000 miles on it (couldn’t afford a new car even trading it as a “cash for clunker”) and my gums have receded so much I can’ t get a bridge to replace a missing tooth. But hey, I’ve got Gratitude, and lots of it. It keeps me light; it helps make each day, each moment special. It’s the best way I know to cultivate compassion and joy. Everyone can tap into Gratitude – I highly recommend its benefits and its ease of use. Go ahead – count your blessings, you’ll be glad you did, and do; Daily!

Be Grateful, Be Happy

Daily Gratitude Reading


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