Yes, I used to think that gratitude was cheesy. Then life happened. There are events in life that will literally force you to be grateful for everything big and small in your life. Focusing on feeling grateful is life. Gratitude is an attitude and way of living that has been shown to have many benefits in terms of health, happiness, satisfaction with life, and the way we relate to others. It goes hand in hand with mindfulness in its focus on the present and appreciation for what we have now, rather than wanting more and more. Feeling and expressing gratitude turns our mental focus to the positive, which compensates for our brains’ natural tendency to focus on threats, worries, and negative aspects of life. As such, gratitude creates positive emotions like joy, love, and contentment which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions like anxiety. Fostering gratitude can also broaden your thinking, and create positive cycles of thinking and behaving in healthy, positive ways.
In this podcast I talk about the power of gratitude and how it can literally change your life, health and aspect on life. Susan Casey is a blogger who understands the power of being grateful and as she says “gratitude is one of her favorite subjects”.
Susan Casey, LMSW, is a Licensed Mental Health Clinician and author. When Susan’s younger brother died unexpectedly in February 2014, she experienced firsthand the saving grace of putting pen to paper. Susan chronicled her grieving process on her blog, and became a contributing writer to Open to Hope and The Grief Toolbox. She’s titled her writing journey, “Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Grief” and is currently working on the book, which sprung from the overwhelming responses she received from her personal essays about grief. The first half of the book chronicles her journey before, during, and after her brother’s death and the harrowing trip to Hong Kong, where he died while on vacation. She interviewed 27 people from around the country who lost a brother or sister. The second half of the book are vignettes about each interviewee’s story and the small and large blessings that bloomed in the space their siblings left behind.