The Hub October 2016 - Page 10

Story by Eva Antonel The timing was uncanny. The day I was to put pen to paper on the significance of gratitude in our lives, the heavens opened up and deposited a deluge of water into the lives and homes of many residents of Tecumseh, Lakeshore and other neighbourhoods throughout our region. Entire blocks on the city's east side sustained damage due to flooding not seen in more than several decades. Roadways became impassable, basements lay in ruins while kids took advantage of the situation and navigated their streets on paddle boards or splashed through the knee-high pools of water in their rubber boots. Areas of the city and county came to a stop. It's easy to be grateful when the sun shines but I wonder how many families affected by this late September rainstorm felt gratitude on the morning the flood waters rose. We wouldn't be human if a catastrophe of this magnitude didn't dampen our spirits in some way. Watching footage of the flooding, I saw many distraught and shocked faces. Some were tearful, some angry and some showed resignation and doubt. But, it didn't take long before the first signs of gratitude crept into the scenario. People mentioned being thankful that their insurance policies were up to date, some others acknowledged the fact that they still had a home to go back to. Some reiterated that the things they lost could be replaced and no lives were lost in the mêlée. Even though being grateful comes easier for some of us than others, according to experts, it's a skill that can be cultivated. Here are some reasons why it may to your benefit to do so. According to several studies, gratitude can: help you have a healthier heart, allows you to have a more restful sleep, makes you more optimistic, helps you make more friends, boosts confidence, decreases anxiety, improves your likeability and improves your overall physical health.