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Marital and Family Law Perspectives

When It is Hard to Give Thanks

Mark Twain penned the phrase: "You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be." After reviewing a time line of the events in Mark Twain’s life, it is clear that he had few reasons to feel like giving thanks. His father died of pneumonia when Twain was young, his brother died in a steamboat explosion when Twain was 23, he fought in the Civil War, he was arrested for misconduct when he was 32, his wife had emotional problems and many physical ailments, one daughter drowned, another daughter died during an illness, he was involved in many lawsuits, and he was plagued with professional and financial anxiety for most of his life.

Anything about his life feel close to home? Nearly every one of the clients I have served in the last three decades has had a series of problems that ultimately led them to seek legal counsel for their family law issues. Over the years, I have researched and read many books and articles so I could share advice from experts on how to keep moving toward your goals, when it is hard to give thanks.

Here are three suggestions that have proven to help:

  1. Go outside into fresh air a few times a week. Walk. Play. Feel the sun. Breathe. A change of scenery can really help change your perspective.
  2. Do something to brighten someone else’s life. Even something small like stopping to hold the door open for the person behind you, or saying "thank you" (with a smile) to a salesclerk before you leave the store can make a difference.
  3. Get a puppy! According to an article on stress management written by Elizabeth Scott, M.S., for, "It is virtually impossible to stay in a bad mood when a pair of loving puppy eyes meets yours." She says that research supports the health and mood-enhancing benefits of pets in decreasing sad feelings, controlling blood pressure, providing much needed unconditional love in ways people can’t, and reducing stress. A puppy can even help with the fresh air department!

How to get started? You could go for a walk and enjoy the company of a friend who has a pet, or you could stop by a pet shelter, where lots of friendly neighbors go to find a new pet. Either way, the change of pace will surely break out your smile, warm your heart, and make it easier for you to give thanks!

The Law Firm of Catherine I. Favitta has been serving clients and families in South Florida, especially Palm Beach County and Broward County, for over thirty years, including Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach Shores, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, South Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lighthouse Point, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston, West Park, and surrounding areas.