Archive for the ‘Gratitude Diary’ Category

AUGUST—It’s All About Our Girlfriends!

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Did you know that August 1 is National Girlfriends Day, or that August is National Girlfriends Month? Yep, it’s true!  This is the month we focus on what it means to share connections with other women.  Why is that so important?  Because our health, happiness, and our longevity as women depend on it!


When was the last time you planned a girlfriend meetup and actually spent time laughing, sharing, and feeling connected?   How long has it been since you sent a card, letter, or even a little gift in the mail to your gal pal just because you wanted her to feel special and loved?


Despite the myriad methods technology provides us today, research studies are finding we are  feeling more alone and disconnected than ever!  So what is going on with this?  Most likely, the reasons are multifaceted, but one of the danger zones seems to be created when we allow social media to replace real-life connections in real time.


The Downside of Social Media

Social media is a wonderful way to enhance our connections, but we must be cautious not to allow them to become the only way we connect with people. Talking on the phone, Skyping or Facetiming provide important elements of communication, but we still get the most benefit from being in touch face to face!  The physical and emotional health benefits from in-person meet ups cannot be matched.


The chemical releases from talking together, hugging, and touching help improve our moods and decrease cortisol levels, helping lower our stress levels and ultimately protect our coronary arteries.  Research at Brigham Young University in 2010 found that feeling disconnected is twice as dangerous as obesity.  They also concluded that having supportive and connected friendships improves our odds of survival by 50 percent.


So this August, how will you choose to spend time with your girlfriends?   Will you grab your calendars and deliberately plan some lunch or dinner meet ups with your tribe?  Can you make a commitment to improving your health by increasing your face-to-face time with your besties?   What does the research tell us you gain from your efforts?  Clearly, a happier, healthier, and most importantly, LONGER LIFE!  Who doesn’t want to sign up for that?


How I celebrated National Girlfriends Day

I celebrated National Girlfriends Day on August 1, by appearing on Houston’s Great Day Houston show with host Deborah Duncan to share the message of my new book,“The Healing Power of Girlfriends,” followed by a sunset cruise with more than thirty ladies on the FantaSea yacht charter on Galveston Bay, followed by dinner at the Kemah Boardwalk.  I will be spending the month of August planning and sharing special in-person times with my tribe!  My life depends on it, and so does yours!


Did you miss Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan on CBS-KHOU TV?   Here’s the link:


Cheers to our Girlfriends! Celebrate with yours in August and begin a new healthier lifestyle habit!


Big hugs and Blessings, Deborah


Learning the Art of Gratefulness

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

November has forever been the month that we all become more focused on taking note of our blessings. We are surrounded by reminders that Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we feel the need to pause and take a quick inventory of all that we have to be grateful for. Learning to keep that spirit of gratefulness going long after the turkey is carved and the last piece of pumpkin pie is devoured is quite another story, however. For most of us life gets in the way and our fast-paced schedules keep us on the treadmill, forever running to the next thing.  This results in little time to stop and deliberately focus on our blessings and being grateful.

What if there was a way to keep that spirit alive all through the year and maybe even blend it into our daily routines and habits.   What if by incorporating a grateful spirit into our daily lives we also helped to increase our emotional and physical well-being.  And, what if we realized that the benefits of living a life seasoned with gratefulness each day increased our happiness levels.   The GOOD NEWS  is, all of these “what ifs” are possible and achieveable!

Recent research studies clearly show us the benefits to our emotional, mental, and physical well-being by keeping a spirit of gratefulness in our minds and hearts.   One way to help achieve this is to keep a “GRATITUDE DIARY” in which we write down 3 to 4 things we are grateful for every day.  Studies have shown this to be a powerful tool in raising happiness levels and can serve as a powerful healing practice as well.  A Gratitude diary is a journal, log, or notebook that we write in daily to list those things, people, events, etc. that we are grateful for.  Not only do we benefit emotionally, physically, and mentally from this exercise each day, but it also gives us a way of tracking over time the good things in our lives that we are thankful for.   It is also beneficial for us to go back and read our entries again in our Gratitude Diary many months or years later to remind ourselves of our blessings.

So, keep the spirit of THANKSGIVING alive in your heart and your life all year long by adopting the new habit of keeping a Gratitude Diary each day.   The benefits will surprise you, enrich your life in positive ways, and will endure long after the turkey and dressing at Grandma’s house are just a sweet memory.

– Deborah Olson, M.A., LPC

An Attitude of Gratitude

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Psychologists in the past few years have focused more research on happiness and what seems to contribute to people becoming genuinely happy.  What they have learned is that gratitude is one skill that will increase your happiness.  In fact, people who keep a “gratitude journal” generally see a rise in their happiness within a few weeks.  It is a simple concept, you just write down each day in your journal or notebook,  3-5 things about that day that you appreciate or are grateful for.  These do not have to be earth-shattering events by any means.  In fact,  they can be quite mundane, such as:  you found a parking space near the door of the office as you were running behind schedule for your appointment.  It might be a compliment by a co-worker that they liked your new sweater or a magnificent sunset that took your breath away, but the point is, take time to notice and then enjoy this positive moment and log it in your gratitude journal.  This new awareness of the “good” in the world that you are focusing on will help you to feel more positive, and begin to view the world through a happier lens.

Researchers are finding that people who live their lives with an “attitude of gratitude” tend to be healthier and live longer.   These people are able to focus on positive events around them on a daily basis and down- play negative events.  Keeping a spirit of optimism is essential in developing this new skill of gratitude.  Most of the time there is some good in a situation, regardless of how horrible it may appear at the time.

Living with an “attitude of gratitude” has the potential to enrich your life in many ways as you become more aware of the wonder of nature all around you, and the beauty of the gift of each day.   If you want to inject your life with a big dose of positivity today, begin a gratitude journal and start to focus on a spirit of thankfulness.    Cicero said it best….

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others”.

– Deborah Olson, M.A., LPC

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