The Gratitude Tree event was part of the Survivorship Program that Mary Bird Perkins of Gonzales has been offering. It was held at St. Elizabeth Hospital on October 16.

Can you make a list of things that you are grateful for, without stopping, for a minute straight?

Many of us may find it difficult to list ten things in regards to gratefulness, because it is so much easier to think about all of the bad that there is. Darkness travels faster than light, in the sense that all of the bad things are more prevalent to us, versus all of the good things.

When we speak about gratitude, it begins to fall into the category of mindfulness. Being mindful about what you think and do in your everyday life can change the structure of our brains.

"Science shows that when you practice mindfulness, and learn how to practice gratitude, you start to create a better immune system. You begin to sleep better, you are less isolated, and it is easier for one to develop more meaningful relationships," Laura Gaddy, the Program Coordinator for Mary Bird Perkins of Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, said.

The Gratitude Tree event was part of the Survivorship Program that Mary Bird Perkins of Gonzales has been offering. It was held at St. Elizabeth Hospital on October 16.

Beginning with a timed exercise, attendees were tasked with making a list of what they were grateful for without stopping, for one minute and thirty seconds. An example that Gaddy gave was to appreciate how soft your bed sheets are after you have had a day full of struggle.

Acorns were used as the base of the jar to hold up the tree sticks. The sticks were used to hang the leaves. The leaves had words written on them, with things people were grateful for, like "hugs" and "firemen." Each person was given 20 leaves to write on.

Gail Wahl, one of the Survivorship Program attendees, said, "I'm grateful for hugs because they're so much warmer and more personal than a handshake. I'm particular about that, so I will only ever give people hugs."

In light of all of the bad in the world, or what we may allow to affect us in our every day lives, challenge yourself to make a gratitude tree--or simply a list. Recognizing what you are grateful for really puts into perspective everything that we have in our lives outside of possessions.