Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bread–the staff of life?

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I have often heard that bread is the staff of life, meaning that bread sustains life. Bread may be the staff of life, but for me bread making makes for a happier life.

I learned to make bread when I was 12 years old.  At the time I was not very happy about it because once I learned to make bread my mom always had me make it.  Not fun when you are 12 years old.  

Now that I am older, I am so grateful my mom taught me to make bread.  It is an outlet for me. When I am feeling stressed out over homework or life, I love to make bread. It is therapeutic for me.

The process of making bread is a happy moment for me. First, it helps me be active. After I mix the ingredients, I knead the bread for ten minutes. Second, the smell of baking bread is a happy, comforting smell. And third, eating the bread contributes to a healthy diet. These three things, activity, aromatherapy and a healthy diet, are all listed in the Top 10 stress relievers at the MayoClinic.com.

The happiest part about making bread for me is seeing the response of those who eat the bread.  It is a happy moment in my life to see others enjoying my hot, homemade bread.

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Gratitude for the Moments

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About six years ago my sister-in-law gave me a gratitude journal.  The idea behind it was to write five things that I was thankful for each day. Most days it was easy to come up with five things I was thankful for, though some days it was harder.  But on the difficult days, writing five things helped me feel happier about life.

 I remember one day in particular. Two years ago I was overwhelmed by school, my husband could hardly walk because of a herniated disc in his back and we had plumbing problems.  The only things I could think of to list in my gratitude journal were:

      *My husband was able to walk to a neighbor’s home four houses from ours

      *I learned how to fix a drain

      *Dillon made me laugh

      *the flowers in my flower beds are pretty

      *my friends are wonderful

 After writing those things I felt like I had been blessed that day and could see the happy moments in my everyday trials.

 A study entitled Counting Blessings Versus Burdens was conducted by two university psychologists. They found that when people highlight the good in their lives they have an increased sense of well-being and happiness (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).  I am a firm believer that focusing on the good each day helps me find the happy moments in life.  Life can be stressful and it can get me down at times.  When I am overwhelmed by homework and the demands of life, stopping to count my blessings brings me instant joy.

 I think I feel happier because I am reflecting on the positive moments in my day like a beautiful sunset, laughing with my children and husband, or spending time with a friend. Focusing on things I am thankful for gives me a happiness boost and helps me relive the happy moments of my day.

 So, if you want to find the happy moments in life, try keeping a gratitude journal.