Living In Gratitude: 10 Traits of Emotionally Strong People

Emotional strength tends to be misconstrued as a lack of feeling. Many believe emotions are the opposite of reason and emotional strength is simply a form of numbness that often presents itself to others as superiority and unwavering toughness.

In reality, emotional strength has little to do with toughness and quite a bit to do with resilience, two very different things.  Thanks to the development of positive psychology, one thing has become clear: it is not how little chaos we experience in life, but how we respond to it, that counts.

Below are 10 traits of emotionally strong people:

1. They display peace more than power.

Genuinely strong people often do not exhibit dominance, aggressiveness or power. They understand that real power is in being your own source of control rather than controlling others. Peace is the most unwavering, unshakable, resilient strength you can possibly possess.

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Living In Gratitude: Blessings In Disguise

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

California has been experiencing a historic drought over the past four years. Initially, not many of us paid much attention to our decreasing levels of precipitation but during the past year or so, we have had to address our lack of water to ensure we had enough to meet our needs.

In times of abundance, we tend to take things-like water-for granted. We got used to letting the faucet run while we hand washed dishes and brushed our teeth. We would indulge in long, relaxing showers, washing our cars in the drive and nurtured expansive, verdant lawns.

Those things have changed as we’ve become more aware. From this drought, most residents of California have a renewed appreciation of how vital and precious water is. We are now embracing conservation methods that include the practice of letting our grass go brown or replacing it altogether.  Read more

Living In Gratitude: Make the Most of Every Day

As we get caught up in the tasks, responsibilities and stress of life, we can fall into a pattern of ‘just getting by’, letting our days blend together rather than making the most of them.

By embracing an outlook of living intentionally, we actively participate in life. We purposefully seek to add enjoyment, accomplishment, awareness and appreciation in every day rather than ‘surviving’ until the weekend.

Below are 10 tips to making the most of each and every day.

1. Start your day early

Those who rise early tend to be more productive, motivated and energized than those who sleep in. Mornings are quiet and calm, allowing uninterrupted time to plan your day, center yourself and kickstart your productivity.

2. Nourish your body properly

Food is the fuel you provide your body and the better the fuel, the more efficiently your body will perform. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of mindless eating or grabbing something quick, but it by shifting your focus, you can ensure your body receives delicious, healthy food at each meal. Read more

Living in Gratitude: Thankful For My Struggle

I’m thankful for my struggle because from it I have found my strength.

As the saying goes, there is a silver lining in everything. And that includes life’s struggles, disappointments and challenges.

When we come up against anything that challenges us, we have a choice. We can give in and feel sorry for ourselves or we can reach deep inside ourselves and harness the incredible power and strength we all possess. Some of us aren’t aware that we even have such mental, emotional and physical fortitude until a struggle presents itself.

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Living In Gratitude: Every Day May Not Be Good

…but there is good in every day.

We’ve all had ‘one of those days’ when it seems that nothing is going our way.

  • Our alarm clock doesn’t go off.
  • We spill coffee on our work clothes.
  • Our car doesn’t start.

And it just goes on from there… Read more

Living In Gratitude: Humans Crave Appreciation

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated. ~William James

Psychologist John Gottman can predict with 94% certainty within 15 minutes if a couple has a solid relationship, if their relationship will fail or will result in an unhappy union.

After years of studying relationships, Gottman has discovered that happy, connected couples – those he refers to as Masters – scan social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They build this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Masters also express appreciation and gratitude for their significant others a minimum of 5 times each day. They find the good in their partner and express their thanks. Read more

Teaching Children Gratitude Part 2

Helping the children in our lives to express appreciation from an early age is a gift that will bring them abundance throughout their lives.

In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed nature as a doorway to nurturing appreciation in children. Here, we will talk more about care, affection and compliments as other gratitude practices.

Care is an Important Aspect of Appreciation

  • Help your child take care of their things.
  • Teach them to respect their belongings and the property of others.
  • Demonstrate an attitude of thankfulness for what you have and for your life together.
  • Acknowledgements, celebrations and shared reflection are simple ways to express your gratitude. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Expect Nothing

Expect nothing and appreciate everything.

Expectations can leave us feeling hollow and disappointed. These assumptions are often ones we place upon others as well as ourselves and when they aren’t met, we tend to reflect negatively. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Peace May Come

Gentle as a snowflake, may peace come into your heart. ~Japanese Proverb

This holiday season, whatever and however you celebrate, open your heart. Welcome peace, kindness, love, and laughter into your heart and your home. Revel in the sense of community, the celebration, the sounds, smells and flavors of the season. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Compliments Are Gifts

Compliments are gifts. Receive graciously and simply say, “Thank you.”

Everyone appreciates a compliment but many of us don’t know quite how to accept them gracefully.

Compliments can make us feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to appear as though we are ‘tooting our own horn’ by accepting a compliment yet at the same time, we want to enjoy it.

Below are a few tips to graciously accepting the gift of compliments.


The best response when someone compliments you is simply: Thank you.

If that doesn’t feel like enough, try to keep your response short and sincere.

“Thank you, my parents gave this to me and it’s always been one of my favorites,” or 
”Thank you, I really enjoyed presenting to your group,”
 or “Thanks so much, that means a lot to me.“

Accept All Compliment

When we deflect or turn down a compliment, we are basically insult the giver.

Giver: I love your outfit. It was the perfect thing to wear to this event.

Receiver: Oh, this old thing? I grabbed it out of the back of my closet.  I don’t really like it, but it was too late to find something better.

That response informed the person who complemented you that they have poor taste. Now they are wondering why they offered you a compliment to begin with.

What should you have said? Thank you.

Don’t Make Yourself Look Bad

Your manager told you that you did a fantastic job on a project. You don’t want to sound arrogant, so to downplay it,  you point out all the things you should have done better. “Thanks, but I wish we would have finished earlier.” Or “I didn’t do much. The team really made this project happen.” While it is important to give credit to the right people, don’t reject credit you’ve rightfully earned.

By pointing out your mistakes or giving full credit to others, your manager may decide you’re right.

Avoid Arrogance

Overconfidence comes across as rude. If someone tells you your project was the best, or your outfit is fantastic, don’t agree. Simply say. “Thank you”.

Was that Compliment Sincere?

There are times you may question the sincerity of the compliment. Was the person being sarcastic, snide, or superficial? What were they really trying to say? It doesn’t matter. It’s not your job to judge the giver’s intentions when you receive a compliment.

Just say, “Thank you”.

When someone presents it to you, accept the gift of a compliment graciously.

May your day be filled with gratitude and good things.

Excerpts from SmartTalk.