Friday, November 28, 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

 
Solano Turkey Trot draws 2,600 to college

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Solano College student body to mark World AIDS Day

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A3

 
Il Fiorello schedules olive milling day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Movies just another course on Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Early Black Friday shoppers take advantage of deals

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eagle Scout project adds floating docks at Rockville Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

‘Guardian angel,’ community join to give man home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tons of marijuana seized in Central California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
Gorilla death prompts San Francisco Zoo changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Health agents still unpaid after plan’s rollout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California Burger King employee finds $100,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Families asked to host visitors for pope’s US trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Researchers discover ‘pre-cancers’ in blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
35 arrested in Oakland after protest march

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

A glance at Ferguson: Then, now and the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Ferguson gives thanks after a quiet night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Small quake rattles California wine country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Poor health is no excuse for not behaving like a caring person

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope for Nov. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview: Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Prison theater transforms Colombian inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Singer John Mayer among ‘Late Late Show’ subs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ doesn’t work

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Talking songs with She & Him

By Kim Durbin | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Nov. 28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

College notebook: Many happy returns for Arizona’s Bondurant

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

Rookie quarterback Carr is Raiders’ silver lining

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Eagles roll over Cowboys 33-10 for NFC East lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Johnson shines in Detroit’s 34-17 win over Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Signups for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

No. 9 UCLA must overcome Stanford for Pac-12 title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Kia’s ‘Soulful’ first electric car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Google’s latest: A spoon that steadies tremors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

3 Reasons holiday shoppers will spend cautiously

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Deanna L. Haines

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Esther Ringler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9