It is hard to find a page on the internet today where there isn’t some mention of showing gratitude and appreciation for those people who have put their lives on the line and volunteered to represent us in times of war, volunteering to protect and defend. And we are reminded of how many instances it is not just one person making the ultimate sacrifice, but their family as well.
We’ve seen pictures of mothers who come face to face with the worst of their fears, when they get word that their son has been wounded or even worse, will not be returning from battle. We’ve seen wives who live the difficult life of a single mother, holding her young family together while harboring fears and worries about the safety of her loved one overseas.
One thing we know we all share in common is a sense of gratitude on days like today. We acknowledge, appreciate and hopefully, stop and get in touch with the gratitude we feel for these people, the ones halfway across the world, as well as the ones here.
So I take from that the lead in for the importance of gratitude in all of our lives. Some therapists swear by getting their clients to write a gratitude journal to help with depression and anxiety. By seeing all we have that is good in our lives, by moving the focus off of all that goes wrong onto how much there is that is right, it can help us regain a more balanced perspective in which our tendency to ‘believe the worst’ is not given the leading role.
According to Hara Estroff Marano in Psychology Today the negative, pessimistic thinking that people do, is a major contributor to depression. There are a lot of negative thinking patterns people get into and gratitude is s sure-fire antidote to pessimism that professionals have found works.
I can think of no better tribute or honor to the countless brave men and women who we honor today than to commit to a practice of gratitude in our own lives. If we can better our own lives because we have learned to think differently and improve the quality of our relationships with each other due to our healthier way of thinking, then we truly have been given the gift of a lifetime.
Veterans Day is a wonderful time to begin to practice gratitude. It is a wonderful reason to look around and take on a more grateful, appreciative perspective to our lives and all the wonderful things we have. Start now. Make this year’s Veterans Day the beginning of a better life for all. There’s no Veteran who wouldn’t be proud to know their sacrifice contributed to that cause!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!