Yesterday I had the privilege of hearing the stories of Kimberly, Brent, Richard and Michael from Pacific Clinic’s Anti-Stigma Speaker’s Group. Through courageously sharing their stories of struggle with chronic mental illness, they taught me and my marital and family therapy students far more than we could have ever learned from a book. And, they helped dispel some of the stigma often attached to bipolar disorder and other biochemically based diseases.

Brent said his spiritual program of recovery through Emotion’s Anonymous has taught him to look for the good amidst the challenges. He told us the benefit of breaking his ankle was that it slowed him down. As a person who experiences manic episodes, he chuckled and said that slowing down was a good thing for him to have some help with!

After my mindful walk yesterday, where I experienced gratitude for my feet, I had a special appreciation for his story.

Beginning and ending the day with gratitude, and focusing on the blessings instead of the problems of daily life is good for both psychological and physical health.

What are you grateful for today?