Friday, September 11, 2015

Fourteen years ago...

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  I mark these years by the age of my son – he was born a few short months before September 11th, 2001.  Sometimes it occurs to me that my children will never know a world that did not experience this terrible tragedy that changed the landscape of our country.  Very few other events have shaped our sense of security and well-being.

Today is the perfect day to reflect on your blessings.  Studies have shown that taking time each day to “count your blessing” actually improves your emotional and physical well-being.  Sometimes it is easier to reflect on negative thoughts – they certainly push positive ones out of our minds quite quickly.  Today, however, in honor of those who gave their lives to protect our country, and in honor of those who tragically lost theirs due to strife in our world, we can take a few minutes to be thankful.  Here are some easy suggestions:

1.  Keep a gratitude journal – jot down a couple of things each day that you appreciate.  It can even be as simple as a beautiful sunset or your favorite cup of coffee.
2.  Use visual reminders – sometimes we need cues to remind us.  Try putting a note on your mirror or car dashboard. 
3.  Use social media – try a week or month long campaign where you share your gratitude publically on your favorite social media site.
4.  Change your self-talk – this is something I work on with my daughter.  She can bog herself down with negative thoughts.  I remind her to develop a mantra of positive comments that override the negative thoughts.  Sometime as simple as “Today I will appreciate… “.

Today is a day to remember and reflect.  It is also a day to count our numerous blessings.  My thoughts are with those who lost a family member or loved one on this day 14 years ago.

Valerie Connor, MA CCC-SLP

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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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