Why Saying Thanks Can Help You De-Stress

by Dr. Christopher on October 11, 2010

When stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or just plain down in the dumps, you seek ways out of that sufferring.  

Usually, you try adding things to your life.  You buy something new or you consume the nearest sugar source or a glass of wine.   

Or maybe you do something new.  You go out to dinner with friends or you go for a hike with loved ones.  

While there are healthy and unhealthy ways of getting out of a funk, one of the best ways I’ve found is to spend time expressing gratitude for what you already have in your life on a consistent basis.  

About Nick Vujicic

Saying “thank you” to an actual person, or more often than not, just by writing down what you are thankful for is a great way to realize how great of a life you already live.  It’s more about realizing what you already have than about having more.   

There are always other people who have it way worse than you do that are just happier than the rest of us.  It’s not because they have more.  It’s because they’ve chosen to be happy for the life they were handed.  

Meet Nick Vujicic.

Are you crying?  It’s ok, I am too. 
Watching that video, we learn that “persistence” is rewarded in the end.  We also learn that if a man without arms and legs is not only happy, but also a significant contributor to society, that we can be those things too.  Most of us were born in better circumstances than Nick Vujicic and we just have to take the time to realize that. 

Yesterday’s Gratitude List


Here, I expanded a bit on my gratitude journal from yesterday.  


  1. I’m grateful that I woke up this morning.  Not only that, but I could wiggle my toes.
  2. I’m grateful that I have a physically able body.  I can walk, exercise, and do anything that I want to do.  I live a pain-free life and I have the knowledge to prevent the degeneration that comes with aging. 
  3. I’m grateful for the warrior dash and the most fun day ever.  (I’ll probably be at every race in Pennsylvania so let me know if you’re going to be at the next one in June!  We can get a drink or eat a chicken leg together!)
  4.    I’m grateful for being born in the United States.  I don’t know war.  I don’t know what it’s like to be homeless.  I don’t know what it’s like to live without drinkable water
  5. I’m grateful for the book When GOD Winks by Squire Rushnell and JS for lending it to me.  Books on spirituality always bring me back to what I really value: simplicity, truth, and love.
  6. I’m grateful for AR and our 2-man mastermind group.  (If you live in the North Jersey area and would like to mastermind with us, we’re open!)
  7. I’m grateful for my patients, allow ing me to do what I love and for being amazing people that I love spending time with.
  8. I’m grateful for my readers on The Humble Observer, allowing me to do what I love, educating others and connecting on a personal level.
  9. I’m grateful for being loved by my parents, my siblings (Lea, Ali, Kyle, and Steve), other family members, and friends.  From birth until death, we spend our lives trying to find love.  Whether it’s from our parents when we scrape our knee as a child, the insecurities of finding a partner through life, or fitting into a group so that we never lose friendship.  It seems many of our life thoughts and actions are for the purpose of finding love.
  10. I’m grateful that I remember to be grateful.

Write It Down to De-Stress

Saying “thank you” in person or just writing in a journal keeps your mind in a place of gratitude.  It allows you to enjoy the simple things and live in the real world without superficiality.  

Today, write down a list of 10 things you are grateful for and feel the peace that it brings you.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

JS October 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I am grateful you helped us move 🙂

Christopher October 12, 2010 at 7:44 am

I do what I can. I’m only one man. haha. Anytime.

Eileen October 20, 2010 at 12:16 am

Ten things I am grateful for:
1. Knowledge
2. Strong and healthy body
3. Essentials like food, clothing, shelter, and transportation.
4. My son Dr. MIke.
5. My gifts, passion, creativity, poetry, intuition, extreme curiosity
6. My 5 amazing sisters (Ann, Margaret, Joey, Jeanne and Pat)
7. My parents and how they raised me…. old school/balanced with love and security
8. My hands, they are gifted instruments
9. My students, and their success
10. The man in my life, and his friendship and support.

You are right, Chris, I have many blessings. Thanks for reminding me to count them.
Why focus on what we don’t have…. that is a waste of precious energy.
Eileen S.

Christopher October 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

I always love to hear what you have to say Dr. S. And I’m particularly grateful for you as well. I remember when you talked to Thomas and I and told us how much good we were going to do in the world after Activator class. And you’d say how you didn’t believe in infections and that your body could heal itself. And how curious and interested you were in your students and the world! A great role model for us…and seeing you at the the Deerhead and at the Halloween Party?! I said to myself, “This woman knows what life is about!!” Thank you Dr. S!!!!

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