Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Marie Monroe

Let’s begin with an acknowledgment of the human brain – that powerful bio-computer that does all those wonderful things so well.  It is in there that I want to say gratitude works its magic.

How?  I’ll have to leave that to those who understand neurochemistry, but I can make some guesses with my intuitive understanding and a few facts about how the brain works at other times.   

As I considered gratitude, I found myself thinking about other things, things we deem pathological even. Things that occur in the brain like seizures and bipolar disorder.  An odd and circuitous route to the subject of gratitude, but one that makes some sense to me. Let me explain.  In seizure disorders, a phenomenon called “kindling” can occur in which the brain ‘learns’ to have seizures more quickly and more efficiently.  A similar thing can happen to the brain in bipolar disorder.  The brain ‘learns’ to have manic episodes more quickly and more efficiently as well.  Not such a good thing if you suffer from these maladies, but an interesting schema for other events in the brain.  Perhaps we can kindle all sorts of other things. Perhaps this is one of the basic ways in which the brain learns anything?

Kindling is often likened to the ignition of fire – using small bits of wood to catch larger pieces on fire.  It is a sort of fine tuning.  Ignition of a process becomes more and more refined as the brain experiences the process more.  In pathological conditions we hope to delay kindling.  In positive experiences, why not cultivate it?  This is how my circumambulation brought me to gratitude. Read More »

Posted on 17 November, 2008 in Gratitude, Happiness, Making the Day Count
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Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Chris Bennett

 

The old adage you are what you eat can be scary in a world where health habits are sacrificed for saving time.  Sure the drive-thru may get you to work on time, but at what expense to your health and waistline?  Food habits can be detrimental when not left in check.  It is your body, and your investment. Are you making a daily effort to do what you can to get a positive return?

 

How do your life habits play into this quandary? People get fed up and frustrated very easily with trying to change habits, especially when it comes to eating healthy.  I admit it is hard to change eating habits quickly.  However it’s important to remember that the little things count, and they add up.  A simple change in routine can produce a ripple effect of positive benefits!

 

Where to start?  Breakfast and snacks.  Read More »

Posted on 17 November, 2008 in Fitness & Health, Making the Day Count
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Article by Christian Nanz and Make The Days Count Contributor Judy Mosley

One of the things I am still learning is how to make my days better by allowing myself to do things that bring pleasure to others and to me.  I am also learning how simple little things like making my bed can help me feel productive all day long!  They don’t need to be major undertakings.  It’s interesting that small things bring large doses of happiness or satisfaction.

For example, when I get up on the morning, I like to take my dog for a walk around the neighborhood. He loves going for a walk (and he expects it!), and yet I believe I appreciate the walk a much as he does!  It is my time to relax, be thankful for another day and enjoy.

Of course this is not an exhaustive list.  There are many things that are simple, inexpensive, and easy to do that can add to your day in an incredibly satisfying way.  Perhaps this will spark you to try some of the things on our list or to add to it with ideas of your own. Read More »

Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Chris Bennett

 

I do not have children, nor am I married.  I consider myself a self driven independent, self motivated man deriving from the fact that I grew up an only child and was entrenched most my life with overachieving parents.  I have been called a lover of solitude and a breadwinner of independence, so you can imagine the strong dose of reality I got when I started dating a woman with a 2-year-old child.

 

It is incredible what children can teach you about family, even if they are not your own.  Read More »

Posted on 15 November, 2008 in Finance & Family, Making the Day Count, Parenting
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Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Judy Mosley

 

The alarm goes off. Quickly, you slam the snooze just praying for five more minutes. And, you get them but feel even worse after the alarm rings again. You get up, already feeling the dread seeping in. It’s not waking up that’s the problem, it’s facing whatever it is that makes you feel “just not right.”

 

So, what is it? Your relationships? The pain in your body? The boss that dries up your heart the moment you walk in the door? Is it the daycare that you just don’t feel right about or those five pounds you were going to lose? Maybe, it’s your finances? Whatever it is, you just wish the feeling would go away. You try everything to make it disappear. You explain away your fears, making excuses for things that just “aren’t right.” Or, you just ignore them.

 

And there lies the challenge! None of us can ignore what’s going on around us and to us. Everything that comes into your life has come for a purpose. Even the feelings that you just can’t shake, no matter what you do to be rid of them. You have been given a gift and these gifts can change the course of your life. It all depends on what you do with them.

 

It’s time for each of us to pay attention to our lives No more rationalizing, making excuses, or ignoring the problem. Read More »

Posted on 15 November, 2008 in Balance, Career, Finance & Family, Fitness & Health, Helping Others, Spirituality
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