Publisher’s Corner: Gratitude is the best attitude, and it’s one thing I can control.

Susan Hunt-Bradford

As I have gotten older, I have found that gratitude can be a very healthy attitude to adopt. I can get myself out of a slump very quickly by feeling grateful. I always thought about keeping a gratitude journal and writing down 5 things every morning I’m grateful for. I’ve done that throughout the years, occasionally, but it just never really stuck. I certainly wasn’t opposed to keeping a journal, but the day would get busy quickly, and I would just forget and move on with the worries of the day, and sometimes the daily complaints. But lately that’s changed. With everything that seems to be going on in the world, and in our lives, there’s just so much we can’t control. We can’t control the price of gas, or the cost of food, or the weather, or the despair that other people in the world are going through, or the negativity on social media, or people hurting other people, or people themselves just hurting. It doesn’t mean it’s not important, it just means that those are things out of our control. We can protest, donate, and volunteer, which are all things I will always advocate for, but they don’t necessarily produce an immediate change within us. It’s gratitude, that act of feeling grateful for what I do have, that has helped me the most and has calmed me down quickly when things get chaotic. When we experience hard times that we can’t control, being grateful is a quick antidote to stop the fear and worry we feel. 

My heart is tender when I see on the news things like children and animals being hurt, and people in other countries having to live in fear daily. Such thoughts once consumed my mind with sadness and worry, but with practice, a lot of it, I’ve learned to get out of it by being grateful for what I do have. There is always so much to be grateful for. It may or may not involve monetary things. Most of the time it doesn’t. My gratitude list includes my son, family, my dogs, friends, JB and The Healthy Planet staff, our readers, and advertisers, just to name a few. Even the random things that make life richer as well, like a ladybug who appears out of nowhere, a hilarious TV show or photos of dogs, any dogs, all dogs, as I scroll through Facebook. There’s no doubt we have a lot to worry about, to complain about, to get mad about, but doing those things doesn’t help us or anybody else. Being grateful stops me from sending negative vibes into the world and allows me to focus on positive thoughts and feelings. Being grateful makes me a kinder person, and happier around others. That’s really all I can do. I like to stay positive, and when I slip out of it, I quickly pull myself back in by thinking of something I’m grateful for. I haven’t always done that, but it’s becoming more natural to me. Being happy and grateful, not only when people are nice, but when people aren’t nice as well. Being grateful not only when everything is going my way, but when things are going sideways…or when the news is negative…or when prices are rising. I wish I would have learned this much earlier in life, but I’m glad that I’ve learned it at all. When I start to get scared or worried when I hear some news that I can’t control, I quickly start listing in my mind things that I’m grateful for. Then those things that I can’t control, stop controlling me. 

Susan Hunt-Bradford; Publisher