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We are grateful for many things-yet often take what we have for granted.  Sometimes, we become grateful only when we get back something we have lost or get something for the first time.

Being grateful, not just once a year on Thanksgiving Day or when you have come out of a crisis, but on an on-going basis has many benefits.  Keep a “gratitude journal” suggests Henry Fountain in the New York Times.

According to Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, and a leading expert in positive psychology: “There are really tangible, concrete benefits to being grateful,”. Dr. Emmons is the author of “Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier” (Houghton Mifflin).

Health improves, relationships get better, people are more active and enthusiastic. There are benefits for others, too, as happier people are more creative, productive and easier to be around.

To set you thinking, here’s a wonderful post by Gretchen Rubin: “Today is Thanksgiving. Here are four questions to ask yourself, to help you feel grateful for your ordinary life.

1. Do you suffer chronic or intense physical pain?

2. Have you recently received heart-breaking news?

3. Have you done anything that makes you burn with remorse?

4. Is every member of your family safe?

It’s easy to forget to be grateful for the most important foundations of daily life.”

I realize that keeping a journal does not come easily to every one. But hey, it’s the thought that counts. If you find it tedious to keep a journal, at least count your blessings. Every day.

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