Category Archives: Gratitude

As Time Goes By

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Time.

timeThe patron and adversary of life: time. It controls us, one, and all, as time goes by. It determines events—births, games, classes, weddings, flights, celebrations, deaths.

It changes the seasons. It ages all life and sparks the new.

It’s a priority—be on time. We give it honor and respect, we thank you for this time. We curse it, what’s taking so long? Waiting lines and wait lists. All as time goes by.

Time. A commodity that cannot be ruled or bought or threatened. It cannot be stolen, bribed, or tortured. It shares itself equally.

It’s a mentor and master for the zealous. A lifetime teacher.

I’ve learned as time goes by—
I’m happier with myself.
The more I say, “I don’t know the answer.
The greater my gratitude.
The more I realize I’ve been wrong about some things.
The less I give advice.
The more I see God in everything.time2
The lighter life’s burdens.
The less I complain.
The more I know my limitations.
The less I want to impress.
The better I am at admitting mistakes.
The more accepting I am of others.
The less I criticize and judge others.
The greater my faith in God.
The sillier and playful I am.
The more I give freely.
The better my life.

If only I had more time.  As time goes by.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

What Social Etiquette Reveals About You

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How do you treat other people?

Every day, it seems, I become upset by someone’s mistreatment of another human being. There’s always cruel words involved and a lack of compassion or mercy. It’s on the radio or in the newspaper or on the news–it’s everywhere.

It’s not difficult to show kindness. No expertise is required. It doesn’t listen1necessitate a lot of reading, or a college degree. It doesn’t even cost money–it’s free. It’s a social grace. One of the few humanity decorum’s becoming snuffed out, I fear, with the air of superiority from an increasing amount of people.

I understand how individuals can lose patience with social etiquette. They’re hurried with managing many aspects of their lives. Their busy seems to always be more important than another person’s busy. Plus, it appears they must save their polite and courteous actions and conversations for their friends or bosses, because they sure aren’t showing any social grace with strangers or who they consider nobodies.

10d69f3e-9b69-4700-9155-2f934eb05151-mediumAnd that speaks volumes. People who are unfriendly, or exclude others from their circle are usually conceited and preoccupied with their image. So they tend to be unkind to anyone they perceive as less successful. These are people who don’t tip waiters or bartenders or taxi drivers or hair stylists. They can be rude and demanding to those same people.

If you come across one of them, you might mention that every human being is entitled to the same treatment that he or she demands. Every person is entitled to respect, dignity, and kindness.

So says Mary Killen, author and columnist at The Spectator, “Having good manners boils down to treating others as you would like to be treated yourself,” she says. “You throw your civility and kindness on the water, and it comes back to you.”

Treating others with respect is an act of benevolence that comes back to you. That’s good karma.

I think that’s how it should stay. Social etiquette is good manners. And good manners know no social status. It belongs everywhere.

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

Finding Happiness

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FINDING HAPPINESS – Dr. Sandy Nelson

Finding Happiness. The individual pursuit of humanity.

Is finding happiness a mood of euphoria, or a state of contentment in the sum of life? Is IMG_3192it the attainment of possessions, or a rewarding career? Is happiness the affection of love or is it charitable giving? Is it peace in the world, or on the street between neighbors? Is it health and long living? Happiness is any combination of all these attributes.

Finding happiness makes you lighter on your feet, and more kind and generous. It prompts more smiles on your face and makes you more eager to help others. Happiness brings a sense of gratitude to life.

IMG_1918Finding happiness just feels good and it’s good for your health as well. According to a The Huffington Post article: More and more science is revealing the depth of our mind-body connection. We know now that cultivating a positive state of mind isn’t just good for your mental health — it can also keep your body healthy and protect you from disease. Positive emotions have been shown to boost the immune system, to improve sleep, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, among other physical health benefits. (You can read the entire Huffington Post article here.)

The most significant facet for you in finding happiness is what you believe about your life. That’s what will determine if your pursuit to find happiness will be successful.

Every day you live according to what you accept as being true. All your daily IMG_1925choices, thoughts, feelings, and actions about yourself and your life are based on what you agree is fact. It’s impossible to conduct yourself for a period of time in contradiction to your opinions—to what you believe is true and fact. You can not act in a manner inconsistent with the way you view yourself and life.

People who are steadily gloomy and indolent believe that life is a constant struggle. Their outlook is to put into life only what is expected and yet they blame other people for feeling trapped and unhappy in their day-to-day routine. The weariness and apathy in their thoughts fade only when resentments surface. For a time anger rises and takes the place of indifference. People who view living as a wrestling match experience the outcome of that belief–unhappiness.

IMG_0942Those individuals who are consistently positive and jovial believe life is a miracle which has happened to them. Far from viewing life through rose-tinted glasses, they experience misfortunes but respond to them with the belief that they are isolated incidents. They see and believe the best in life before acknowledging the worse. As a result they expect good events to happen to them and this keeps them on happiness road.

Pay attention to the content of your attitude towards yourself and your life, and make the necessary attitude adjustments. Finding happiness will be easier.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Out of Focus

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OUT OF FOCUS – Dr. Sandy Nelson

Today, in the National Hockey League Western Conference finals, the Chicago hockey1Blackhawks will play game four with the Anaheim Ducks. The victor of this series will play for the Stanley Cup—the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League(NHL) playoff winner.

I’m a Blackhawk fan. I watch the games. I get the gist of hockey. I don’t know all the rules, but I think any idiot, myself included, knows that this game, among other things, takes focus and attention.

So I stopped to think about what I focus on. Suddenly my mind was bombarded with a cazillion things that occupy my day and I found it difficult to sort it all out to even have a focus.

IMG_1577Should I focus on my attitude? Or topics for my blog? What about my family? How about those bills? How much housework should I get done today? Maybe I should focus on more research and reading. Then the phone is ringing, the doorbell goes off, the dog is barking. Wait, where are those tips about staying focused; they’re here somewhere on my desk where the cat is sleeping.

To accomplish anything takes focus. And to focus, we need to remove distractions that could take us way off track. We need to put down our phones, turn off the music or TV, defer conversations until later. Then we’re ready to sit down with concentration for the task at hand.

I think it’s wise to start the every day with intentions.IMG_1034

1. Set your intentions for your attitude. Envision your outlook for the day–one of gratitude, kindness, and giving.

2. Decide what’s tasks need to be accomplished. Set the priorities of what projects need your focused attention at work and at home.

4. Then focus on those priorities, without distraction, and you’ll be finished in no time.

Then relax and enjoy what remains of the day. Turn on that TV just in time for a hockey game! I bet you can focus on that!

images (96)Think about it!

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

 

 

Ditch That Godawful Attitude Here – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Beyond your heart beat, and everything, how do you know if you’re alive? Is there any excitement or interests in your life? Any passion?

Vernon Howard was a man on a mission. In his books and lectures, it was clear that each day he aspired everyone to experience an emotional awareness of being alive. He was probably one of the first trailblazers for mindfulness in the 1950’s with this statement Try to see what attitudes rule your day, then ask yourself what kind of a day you usually have.IMG_2308

What kind of days have you been having lately? Are you sick of the same crap? If the past week has been bleak and negative, or filled with resentment and criticism, chances are high that your attitude on those days has not been working well for you. The bold truth is that if you latch on to a negative outlook you’re experiences in life are going to be negative which then prompts a negative outlook, and so on.

Instead of waiting for life to treat you better before changing a negative attitude, change your attitude first. Focus on the good in your life, find it, accept “what is” in everyday situations, be thankful for what hasn’t gone wrong, and then expect the positive. With that outlook, you’re bound for a good day which then prompts a good attitude!

IMG_2327Joan Baez reminds all of us that: You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live.

Most of us are guilty at some time or another of taking life for granted. We’re blinded with the eluding belief that there’s always tomorrow, and next week. In taking life for granted we become immune to the treasures found in each day and instead complain about this or that unfairness. We’re indifferent with other people. Instead of filled with kindness and gratitude, we’re filled with indifference and resentment.

Each dawn is to be a celebration because it’s a gift.  If tomorrow’s arrival was up in the air, how would you live today?

FullSizeRender (7)

Dr. Sandy Nelson

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

Still Surprised by Disappointment? – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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In the acclaimed 1936 novel Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell writes: Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.

Everyone knows that life is unfair, yet it’s incredible how we still appear panic4surprised by disappointment and unwanted events. If we really believed that life is unfair, we would expect disappointment and injustice, and be pleasantly stunned when a day passed without it. We would be enormously grateful for whatever we received that day, and view ourselves as fortunate because it wasn’t less. And it really could be a lot less and a lot worse.

Instead, some people expect life to unfold without a hitch and according to plan, and when it doesn’t they’re blindsided. It’s reasonable that some time might be needed to deal with the letdown from setbacks. But then it’s time to regroup and get back to living.

panic3How do you handle the unfair and difficult times in your life? Can you be found in a pouting slump; complaining about how you’re a victim of life? Or, can you be found facing trials with a determination to endure?

Helen Keller wrote: Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

I don’t know any happy and successful individuals who view themselves as complainers or see themselves as victims when adversity arrives. Those individuals who are determined to face difficulties and accept trials are the ones who become successful and have joy.

There is no doubt that throughout life you will come face-to-face with many trials and hardships. And, there’s no doubt that today, it’s how you handle those trials and hardships that will determine your success or failure; your happiness or misery.

As you go about your activities today, notice what could be worse, but isn’t instead of what’s going wrong that shouldn’t be.

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

The Trick In Life – Dr. Sandy Nelson, Life Coach

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What would change in your level of happiness if you craved for nothing except what you already possess? Wouldn’t it be bliss to believe there is nothing IMG_2742more to gain because you have everything that makes you happy? Can you imagine that feeling of abundant happiness from having it all?

On the slip-side, when we make a mental list of those possessions that we feel we lack, our happiness is usually lacking as well. We believe that we can’t be happy unless we have what is missing.

Today, imagine that everything you hold dear to your heart and everything that is important to you is taken away. Make a mental list. Don’t be vague about it, be specific. Imagine your laptop, iPod, coffee pot, car, your home, your telephone, your loved ones, your friends, your cat, dog, are all gone. Plus, all memories-407021_150those other things on your list that are important to you. Envision your despair, your sadness, your emptiness.

Now, one by one, imagine that those things, and people, are given back to you—your closet once again has clothes, your car is parked in the driveway, your loved ones are around you. You again feel happiness and thankful.

The state of comfort and happiness you experience from this exercise is the state of mind you can experience every single day. Will this mindfulness visualization make a difference in your day-to-day outlook? It can.

The trick in life is not in getting what you want but in wanting what you get after you get it. —Warren Beatty and Robert Towne from the USA Motion picture Love Affair spoken by Katherine Hepburn

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

What if tomorrow doesn’t come? —by Dr. Sandy Nelson

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IMG_1999Gosh, we live hectic lives. I mean, seriously, busy lives. And each year appears to pick up speed. Our day’s ordinary routine seems to blur into the next sunrise. Our daily agenda’s become something we take for granted, even if it’s one of boredom. Our family and friends come and go with hello’s and bye’s. The day leaves us exhausted as we lay our tired body down for sleep planning the next day’s schedule and obligations.

But what if tomorrow doesn’t come for us? What if today is the last day granted to us on this earth?

Sounds kind of real, or scary, doesn’t it? The tick-tock of reality is one verity weIMG_1902 tend to shove aside and not think about. We may realize that our date of departure from this earth is marked somewhere on a universe calendar, but when we tuck ourselves into bed at night, we rarely think about that date being tomorrow. We hope it’s a time way off, down the road, decades later. Yes, maybe.

Time. The supreme calendar of existence for us—of living, breathing, thinking, loving. What is it that we take, or make, time for? Should our priorities change? What should we do differently?

We have only so much time.

IMG_2922It’s a matter of mindfulness, I think. Living in the here, now. Being aware of this moment. Paying attention to one another. We can easily pick out from a crowd those who are attempting to live and give the fullest to each day—those who are kind to one another, who seem thankful, who are helping, who speak with an enthusiasm for life.

We all have a reason to be here today.

Our lives matter. Each of us have a specific task and purpose that benefits humanity. We all have gifts and talents to contribute for a better tomorrow. Because, when tomorrow arrives, life goes on.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Compliments, Pride, and Humility

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images (57)You can discover a great deal about a person when you compliment his or her triumphs. If the response is one of sincere gratitude and humility, that recognizes (through praise) the efforts of others, too, then that suggests the person has a character that is not self-absorbed or defined by grandstanding. If a person seems to frequently point out or brag about what he or she has accomplished, and tends to carry on about all the drudgery it took to achieve it, then you are speaking with someone who is probably insecure and self-centered, and looking for praise from you to feel good about him or herself.

Journalist Horace White said: Abraham Lincoln did not ‘put you at your ease’ when you came into his presence. You felt at ease without being put there.

It’s effortless to find respect for those individuals who have not allowed images (54)accomplishments or status to go to their head. They have their feet planted on the ground with the rest of humanity. Their humility is attractive whereas self-conceit repels. It’s illogical the amount of people who see themselves superior than others for any reason. It’s not possible to respect or like someone who believes he or she is better than anyone else.

Even as early as the first century people with arrogance and conceit were earmarked as disreputable and obnoxious, as seen in this quote from Seneca: You can tell the character of every man when you see how he receives praise. 

No one should attempt to diminish the life or contribution of another person. Every individual is important and necessary for humanity. And now you know how to determine the individuals who believe that. Just give them a compliment, and wait to hear their response.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Dealing With Disappointment

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There’s no doubt that today we live in a spoiled society. There’s little delayed gratification and a lot of stuff we feel entitled to have, or to experience—now. The more things we think are deserved or that we should possess, the more disappointed we are when it doesn’t occur.

IMG_0866 - CopyDr. David Brandt, author of Is That All There Is? wrote: Not all disappointments are equal. Some are devastating. Others scarcely seem to matter. It all depends upon the degree of emotional involvement in the expectation. The greater the investment, the more severe the disappointment. The greater the underlying wish for an event to occur, the stronger the pain when it doesn’t. 

French author and Nobel Prize winner, Andre Gide, was right when he said: Long only for what you have. However, no one really wants to hear that. Instead of recognizing on a daily basis what we already possess and then work towards what we want, we may recognize on a daily basis what we don’t have and ignore what we do. We may dwell on what’s lacking in our life, and harp on all the instances we failed to acquire what we wanted. This type of attitude towards disappointment can destroy self-esteem, gratitude, and motivation.

Individuals who often experience disappointments may not be able to identifyfailure1 what disappointments are intended to teach. There could be a pattern of expectations that are not rooted in reality. Dr. David Brandt puts it this way: Whether out of fear, disapproval, or anxiety, those who repeatedly experience disappointment have a psychological history that has produced expectations that are unrealistic, too absolute, too high or low. They need to readjust those expectations, but forces in their personality prevent them from doing so. 

If we don’t process disappointment, accept the outcome and adjust to the reality that is presented, we’ll continue to want what we can’t have while taking for granted the many blessings inside our front door. We may think that having something or someone is necessary in order to feel happy and okay. Thinking that we “have to have” anything places the source of our well being and happiness dependent on something outside ourselves.

Acceptance of “what is,” is a struggle only when we can’t let go of the attachment to what we wanted. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try again or plan something different in order to get what we want, it means that we accept that it wasn’t acquired this time. It’s important to accept and appreciate what we have, and to keep thinking of what we want and plan the next effort to get it.

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com