Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Gratitude as Therapy








Tonight we went to see the lights at the Washington D.C. temple. It was about a 40 minute drive but it was worth it. It was beautiful. The last time I visited, it was crazy crowded. You were just there with wall to wall people. I only saw the live nativity from about 100 yards away. But this time, we could just walk up to the front of the manger & watch. The kids loved it. They stood there transfixed. The lights were really fun for the kids, too & we went to see the international creche collection inside the visitor's center, too. Beautiful. If it weren't for a crazy experience at the IHOP there in Kensington, my Christmas spirit would have been 100 times boosted. (I guess yesterday was payday in the ghettos of Kensington & everybody was at IHOP. I think we waited 1/2 hour after we were seated just to get menus. And it went on & on like that. We probably should have done McDonalds instead. Without kids, there looked like there might be some nice little Italian restaurants on University Ave. there...? Does anyone know where to eat in Kensington for future reference?)
Also, the Super Saturday craft day is done & went well. My favorite was the workshop on gratitude. It hit home with me. It talked about how gratitude creates love and heals. They even mentioned a scientific study where they documented the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. I was interested enough to look up the study on the internet. It can be found at http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/labs/emmons/ . Some excerpts from it said that people who kept gratitude journals:
  • Exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week.
  • Were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based).
  • Had higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.
  • Were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another.
  • Had greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality.

Amazing!! This is just after 2 months of gratitude journaling or listing. I think for at least the rest of the Christmas season, you will need to indulge me in some gratitude therapy. I actually always do feel better after writing down lists of things I'm thankful for. And I definitely think that it's highly significant that we are asked to tell Heavenly Father what we're thankful for each night and morning first before we talk to him about any other issues, including repentance issues or even praying for others!

So here is my list for today:

  1. Great people who were dependable & fulfilled their assignments so well to make such a wonderful activity for the Relief Society sisters.
  2. Christmas music that uplifts, cheers & reminds us of the Savior.
  3. A great, kind, cheerful man at the visitor's center who said Hello & Merry Christmas to every single person who walked by at the entrance. He must have been the real Santa Claus.
  4. Having card club to go to last night. It is one of my favorite things to make handmade cards and receive a bunch to always have on hand.
  5. The chance to try to teach my kids the gospel. Although I get fed up with being a mom at times, I would never want anyone else to take over my job of bearing my personal testimony to them and helping them understand what life is all about.

2 comments:

Grammy said...

What sweet children! I adore the photo of the little boy with the Jesus statue.

Andrea said...

we love the woodside deli on georgia ave when we go to the temple - it's a little jewish deli in a strip mall with awesome sandwiches and chocolate shakes to die for!!