Saturday, November 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Gratitude does a body good

bates column sig

By
From page A2 | December 27, 2012 |

As human beings, we tend to dwell mostly on the negative aspects of life such as, “I’m unhappy,” “I don’t like my boss,” “Mom likes my sister better than me” and the list goes on and on. I’m no better than the next because I complain about any number of things, and getting older is right up there at the top. What do I expect, after all, I’ve been around for quite some time.

“To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living,” someone once said. I couldn’t agree more.

But the truth is that most of us, even in these most difficult of times, have so much for which to be thankful. To check this out, I began jotting down what I thought would be a short list of the things in my life for which I am grateful. I was surprised to find that my list went into a couple of pages and I haven’t finished yet.

I had no idea that there are those who study gratitude from every angle, but a group of University of California, Berkeley researchers study the subject year-round.

The Greater Good Science Center was founded in 2001 and their goal is not only to understand how gratitude works, but also how to build a healthier and kinder society. Some maintain that we Americans are one of the most individualistic and self-focused civilizations in human history.

Author Rhonda Byrne says that we could begin to change that and writes about people who changed their lives dramatically when they began to practice gratitude every day. Byrne maintains that just saying thank you on a daily basis could go a long way toward making meaningful changes in our lives.

One of my favorite things to do is to read the old “Benjamin Franklin Almanac of Wit, Wisdom and Practical Advice.”

Franklin was not a president, an imminent professor, a professional athlete or a movie star, someone said, but if you’re looking for some sound advice, he’s the best. I ran across this quote: “If the only prayer you said in your entire life was ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Researchers maintain that showing gratitude can increase happiness, achievement and life satisfaction. It’s not easy, though: Gratitude will take practice. Other studies report that teenagers who learn appreciation have a greater sense of purpose and understanding of what’s most important in life.

I do know parents and teachers who also teach children early on that gratitude is not just about being thankful for what they receive but also about giving back. That’s why many parents take their children with them to volunteer at homeless shelters, senior citizen facilities and other places.

“If you practice gratitude a little, your life will change a little. If you practice gratitude a lot every day, your life will change dramatically, and in ways you can hardly imagine,” Byrne wrote.

She shares some ways that we can practice bringing gratitude into our lives every day:

  • Practice saying thank you often every day.
  • Make a point of deliberately breathing deeply while walking, standing in line, shopping, etc. Give thanks for the air that you breathe. Most health experts tell us that we don’t breathe deeply enough.
  • Count your blessings. Make a list of 10 blessings every day and give thanks.
  • Make an effort to get through the day without saying anything negative. If you find yourself saying something negative, stop and say, “But I have to say that I’m really grateful for . . . “
  • Ask yourself at the end of the day what was the best thing that happened that day and give thanks.
  • Be grateful for the person in the mirror (you). Don’t criticize yourself when you make a mistake. Take stock every day and be grateful and say thank you for the things that you’re grateful for about yourself.

I’ll end my column, which was written on Christmas Day, with a quote written by Franklin in 1757: “Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on the outward circumstances.”

I wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas and the best New Year ever.

Mayrene Bates is a trustee on the Solano County Board of Education.

Mayrene Bates

Mayrene Bates is a trustee with the Solano County Board of Education.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • pornacDecember 27, 2012 - 7:37 am

    Cute article. Happiness also depends on the emptiness in your belly. Tell congress to pass the farm bill and stop trying to cut food stamps for your kids.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Linda MahoneyDecember 27, 2012 - 8:13 am

    Excellent article Mayrene. Thank you so much for your suggestions.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lauren RolfeDecember 27, 2012 - 8:58 am

    Mayrene, I always enjoy reading your columns but this is one of your best! It will work for everyone. Thank you so much, and I wish you the best of New Years!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Courses designed to boost health yield positive results

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bands shine, Scouts serve, dogs win across region

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Police: Child flees attacker in Fairfield

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Quail Run appeals 2nd ruling over wage claims

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Settlement reached in Fairfield Inn suit over fall

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Assessors association taps Tonnesen as president

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Timm, Hunt maintain leads in tight council races

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A9

Afternoon crash kills 1 in Vallejo

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: Nov. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Nov. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

House intel panel debunks many Benghazi theories

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
A look at how FDA-approved robotic leg braces work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Marine with robotic leg braces gets Bronze Star

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Oregon festival’s giant nutcracker: 41 feet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

San Francisco window washer falls onto moving car

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Zookeepers had safety concerns before gorilla died

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California storms bring scattered rain, mudslides

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Judge declares wrongly convicted woman innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

$139M deal reached in school molestation case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Senate leader lays off dozens of office employees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

UC expands legal services for immigrant students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man pleads not guilty to emailing nudies of ex

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stymied? Republicans seek immigration response

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
LA animal shelter slashes prices on 100 pets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Agency rejects solar project in Silurian Valley

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Iran nuke talks stalled, despite Kerry efforts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Biden urges Russia to uphold east Ukraine truce

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: 3-year-old set fire that killed his family

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

93-year-old woman marks 75 years with same company

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Agency: Schools helped Lanza’s mom ‘appease’ him

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

With snow still piled high, Buffalo faces flooding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

GOP can trump Obama’s bad immigration plan

By Lanhee Chen | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoons: Nov. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Batson column falls short of truth

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Nov. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My sister kicked Mom out of her house and won’t let her have the car

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

Blanket drive for homeless gets help from Colts player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

Bill Cosby show set for Vegas casino canceled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Matt Czuchry says ‘Good Wife’ arc is at right time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

‘Queen Latifah Show’ to end after its 2nd season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Vacaville downs Del Oro to advance to section semis

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Sparano savors 1st win with Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Panthers youth football prepares for Super Bowl

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

France levels tie against Switzerland in Davis Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ibanez, Cash, Wakamatsu finalists to manage Rays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federal judge denies sports betting in New Jersey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
JC women’s basketball: Solano advances to tourney title game

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Ciganda, Granada tied for lead at LPGA finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks trade Demers to Stars for Dillon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL will hear Adrian Peterson’s appeal Dec. 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers’ Dorsey is out of Sunday’s game against Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Toyota recalls nearly 423K Lexuses for fuel leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Ford’s new F-150 to get 26 mpg, tops among pickups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

CEOs in 10 big mergers to get $430M: Equilar study

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
California unemployment unchanged at 7.3 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

White House: Immigration steps would boost wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur Irving Weiner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 11/22/14

My brothers said, pay double the rent or move out

By Tim Jones | From Page: HSR2

Ask a Designer: from clutter to decor

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Nov. 22, 2014

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: HSR3

US 30-year mortgage rates drop to 3.99 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3