“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” Margaret Cousins

Lisa Ryan Chief Appreciation Strategist Days passA little more than a year after my father’s stroke, a social worker assessed him to see if he could live on his own, and if he was able to drive. He was given permission to live on his own, but he did not pass the driving assessment. (I have to admit, I was relieved.) If you have elderly parents or grandparents, you know that losing their ability to drive, in essence their independence, it is one of the hardest things for them to deal with. My dad was no exception.

Knowing that he would be upset, I invited him to a networking event where I was speaking. Several people signed up for this event who had retired from Huntington Bank, and my father knew them from his 30 year tenure there. My father put aside his feelings of sadness and reconnected with old friends. He radiated joy, and thanked everyone from the hosts of the meeting to the servers of the food.

So what do you do when life brings you down? Do you choose to wallow or can you move past it, if only for a little while, and pay attention to the good things in your life?

Just for today, try telling yourself, “I’m going to take a break from my negativity and look for what’s positive in my situation for the next (insert number) minutes.” When the time is up, you can go back to wallowing, or you may find that you don’t need to. Give yourself permission to be ok with either option. Chances are that by taking a break, you’ll find that you changed your state enough to get out of the funk and move on to a happier place.

PS – As my friend Jacci, a cancer survivor, said, “Life may come at you fast – but what can you do to get past the curveballs of life? Choose gratitude.”

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