About This Book


This uplifting book reminds readers of the blessings in their lives, despite financial stress, natural disasters, health scares and illnesses, housing challenges and family worries. This feel-good book is a great gift for New Year's, for someone going through a difficult time, or for Christmas. These stories of optimism, faith, and strength remind us of the simple pleasures of family, home, health, and inexpensive good times.

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5 ways to develop an attitude of gratitude

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark, Laura Robinson and Elizabeth Bryan

When things go wrong or you are feeling overwhelmed, you can choose to pout or you can look for the silver lining. Inspired by contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, here are some suggestions for staying positive and developing an attitude of gratitude.

1. Focus on your family. Mimi Greenwood Knight and her husband were in a constant struggle to get their three children to their many activities. "Then one day, I looked around and thought, 'What are we doing?'" says Mimi. "We had three beautiful, healthy kids and everything we ever wanted. Yet the five of us hardly knew each other." So the family made the decision to spend more time together. Her children found creative ways to have fun at home and she and her husband were reminded why they'd gotten married. Don‟t forget to take some time at home with the people you love — it will remind you how much you really love your life.

2. Find a new passion. Sometimes losing a job can feel like the end of the world, but it can be a great opportunity to find what you really love to do. Just a month after receiving her fifth Employee of the Month award, Britteny Elrick was laid off from her bank job. "When something like this happens to you," she says, "it's natural to ask why. I had no performance problems, no warnings, and worst of all no clue." Instead of spending your time wondering what you did wrong and why this is happening to you, think of all the opportunities being unemployed can present. Try exploring something you haven't taken time for while working. "With all of the extra time on my hands, I reunited with the long lost love of my life: writing. It occurred to me that with some hard work I might be able to make a living doing what I love. Who does that?" says Britteny.

3. Spend less; enjoy more. When her husband Joe lost his job, Michele H. Lacina found ways to cut costs whenever possible. "To stay active, we took walks. We played cards and games at night for fun. The library became our main source of entertainment," says Michele. These methods are cheap or free, and often more fun than paying to be entertained elsewhere. Finding ways to enjoy yourself at home instead of spending money on the movies or dinner can be great fun.

4. Make a gratitude list. After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Leah M. Cano underwent a 10 hour surgery for removal and reconstruction of her left breast. Immediately following surgery, she was told she'd face a year of chemotherapy. She knew at this point that she would have to rely upon an inner strength and positive attitude to get her through. Leah's sister sat her down to list the difficulties she would have to endure alongside all the things she was grateful for. "The column for things I needed to be grateful for: my grown son, my completed education, a supportive family, good insurance coverage, a good job and a difficult divorce behind me, would always outweigh the other. As the year of chemo and radiation jumped out at me, it became clear. I had so much to be thankful for," says Leah. Comparing your struggles and blessings side by side will show you just how much you have.

5. Count your blessings. When 13-year-old Sheoli Gunaratne had her trip to the beach in Sri Lanka delayed — due to her mother‟s lost water bottle — she thought her trip had been ruined. Instead, she and her family missed the first tsunami wave by mere minutes. Her family turned the car around, just missing the second wave too — a wave that took thousands of lives, including 200 cars driving behind them. "It all came down to a minute or two that had saved our lives," Gunaratne writes in her story "Tsunami Survivor." Sometimes it takes some time to understand how much you really have to be grateful for.

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