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Marie Lozito

November 19, 2011

Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions. 

Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she ran for elected office in 2010. 


Saying “Thank You”

I was lying in bed the other night thinking about just how lucky and blessed we are in this country and how grateful I am for my life. I realize we all have so much to be grateful for. Even in difficult times or in the aftermath of a disaster, if you look for it, you can find something good. One of my former instructors called it “looking for the jewel in the ashes”. A great assignment I had once was to keep a “gratitude journal”. Every day students had to write down 10 things they were grateful for. I woke up one morning after a snowstorm and thought about how grateful I was for a warm cozy bed and a house with central heating and insulation. When I went to the bathroom I thought about how great it was that we have indoor plumbing and hot and cold running water.

I think that any day I wake up, can get out of bed without help, go to the bathroom without help, get dressed without help, fix and eat my meal without help – is a good day! Then, if I can actually do something good or productive – it's a great day. I don't remember when I started thinking this way but it was a long time ago. It's made life pretty good – even the bad parts.

When you start thinking about and being grateful for things it affects you in very positive ways. Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being. 

Now mental health professionals are taking a close look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health. Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough point out that gratitude is the “forgotten factor” in happiness research. They point out the benefits of expressing gratitude as ranging from better physical health to improved mental alertness.

Expressing gratitude in your daily life might even have a protective effect on staving off certain forms of psychological disorders such as depression. People who express gratitude also are more likely to offer emotional support to others. Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system. Gratitude, it turns out, can help us cope with daily problems, especially stress, even in the face of tremendous loss or tragedy. It's no secret that stress can make us sick, particularly when we can't cope with it. Stress is linked to several leading causes of death, including heart disease and cancer, and claims responsibility for up to 90% of all doctor visits.

Given all the positives, and the lack of negatives, why don't we all try being more grateful for what we have? This week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, what better time to start improving our lives with gratitude?

Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation:

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington 




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