Gratitude is the Attitude: Health and Wellness from the Inside Out


I absolutely love this time of year. We have left the scorching days of August. The rain is beginning to come on occasion, and I get to put away all of my skin baring clothes and replace them with scarves and sweaters and mittens. The pressure of Christmastime is still a few weeks away, and we get to look forward to a day of gratitude, football, and yummies with our families and friends. I am pregnant this year which makes the eating that much more fun.

Although we call the fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving, shouldn’t every day be one full of thanks? I find it fascinating that one of the consistent habits of happy or successful or effective people is gratitude. It is not that these folks do not have struggles. In fact, some of the happiest people on earth come from the poorest countries or places with terrible weather.

The root behind the effectiveness of gratitude is that it cannot dwell in the same heart as anger or resentment. When we shift our awareness from fear or stress to gratitude we automatically begin to shift to a calmer state in our physiology. When we have resentful thoughts, we experience a stress response. We are living in a time with so much to complain about.

I remember working at a local junior college when the budget cuts began to take place with vigor, and the teachers and staff would spend so much time talking about the ‘what ifs’ and complaining about our government. The blame would land on some idea and the group would bash it. Speaking of ways to solve tough issues and resolve a problem is of the utmost importance, but dwelling on things that we often have no control over only leads to hypertension, and a craving for way to many pumpkin pies.

I like having intelligent discussions on just about any topic, but there is a time where each of us needs to realize that the negative thinking is just adding to the baggage of our day. I would rather focus on the positive, the students I get to interact with in that day, and the lessons I prepared to teach. This is the other power of gratitude. It is something we practice in the moment. The future is not yet here, and the past is over. If you can cultivate energy of gratitude in your heart now, you will feel good, and those around you will feel it too.

We all know people who are “negative nillies” they just aren’t fun to be around. We also know people who can find the silver lining even when their world seems to be caving in. These are emotionally bulletproof people, and they often have hearts of gratitude. Let’s begin today adding more gratitude.

While you are driving in your car or bored in line at the store take a few moments to take deep breaths and with each inhale think of someone or something you are thankful for. When your mind wanders to your disappointments become aware of the negative feeling, set it aside, and think of something you have to be grateful for. When you get bad news, find thankfulness even if it’s just for that one breath that you are breathing now. Having an attitude of gratitude really will make your holidays bright.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, readers. I am thankful for YOU.

Tamara Joy Patterson was raised in Northern California and lives in Palo Cedro with her husband and their two children. She is a graduate of CSU, Chico, and Clayton College of Natural Health with degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Natural Health, and is a certified mind-body expert and ACSM certified exercise specialist. Tamara has been in the health-and-wellness field professionally for more than 12 years as a wellness expert, college health instructor and yoga teacher. To learn more about Tamara Joy you can visit her website at:


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12 Responses »

  1. Amen to that, Tamara! We all have choices as to how we're going to view a situation. Gratitude keeps me centered, keeps joy in my heart, and a smile on my face. Thanks for the reminder you beautiful pregnant lady!

  2. There's a reason why my Bible says something to the effect of : " . . . whatsoever things are pure . . . whatsoever things are of good report . . . . THINK ON THESE." Good advise 2000 years ago, good advise today and good advise for everything in between!! Thanks for reiterating sound advise of which we all need to be reminded over and over.

  3. Yes, I have realized that the ancient prescriptions are sometimes the best for our hearts and our bodies. I'm glad that you thankful happy ladies are out there inspiring others!

  4. Well said, Tamara...!

  5. If everybody thought of at least one thing that they are greatful for everyday this world and everyone in it would be happier and I believe that diseases and stress would subside even if just a little. Happiness is the little things in life... Your children laughing or a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Thank you Tamara for reminding us to have gratitude in this beautiful season.

  6. I find that when I feel stressed, if I just take a deep breath and say thank you, even if I don't feel grateful at the moment, it shifts my mood and opens my perspective. When I look at the stars or the sunset, or laugh at my dog's antics, I say thank you and feel it all the way to the core of my being.

  7. You are the light of my life. An inspiration. I am so proud of you and all you do. Know we love you and wish you many blessings this Thanksgiving season. G and G

  8. I like your attitude Tamara. It is so much easier to see the glass as half empty when your down and depressed and wanting, but the stronger among us will see glass as half full and a brighter future is ahead.

    Those at the end of their rope, need to tie a knot and hang on or better yet seek professional help. Mental health help is available for those who can't seem to crawl out of a mental slump no matter how deep it may be.

    The decision to seek help is up to you and your recovery is dependant on your action.

    Do it for yourself.

    • This is so true, Bud. It is important that first and foremost we decide to help ourselves, and then ask another to support us when the going is really tough.

  9. Thanks you for having a positive attitude. I meet so many people any more that just gripe and complain and blame everyone else for their problems. Those kind of people I get rid of in my life. Life is too short to listen to them moan.

  10. I like the term "emotionally bulletproof." What a great description for people with a consistent gratitude practice. It works!


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