Stress and unhappiness can lead to weight gain and illness, making it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, enjoy friends and family, or care about what you eat. Gratitude allows you perspective, to live in the now, and to find joy in what you have.
Taking Care of Yourself Inside and Out
Our thoughts have the power to create reality.
Here’s how that works:
If you’re depressed and unhappy, your body feels threatened and will garner it’s resources. You might overeat for protection, or develop cravings for foods that will give you a mental boost as your body tries to create balance and bring you back from this dark place. It’s basic survival, as your brain craves endorphins from carbs, sugar, and alcohol. Depression or sadness also can also lower your immunity, and compromise your body’s ability to fight off intruders.
Gratitude practices help with depression and create a happy state of mind. So when you practice gratitude, you tell your body that you’re OK; that you’re taken care of, and safe. Your body in turn operates more efficiently, letting go of excess calories and burning them more efficiently, remaining strong to protect you against virus and bacteria.
Hard to fathom? Give it a try. See how your health fares this winter by adding more gratitude to your day.
What do you have to lose, except maybe a pound or two?
Here are my favorite gratitude practices that I like to share with my clients.
1. Start a gratitude journal.
Each day, at the end of the day before you go to bed, write down everything you’re grateful for. You can use a notebook, or buy yourself a journal for this purpose. Date the page, and list what you’re grateful for.
Here are a few of mine:)
“I’m grateful that my parents are alive and healthy”
“I’m grateful that I have a loving, kind husband”
“I’m grateful that my son is growing to be a fine young man”
“I’m grateful to help others in my work”
“I’m grateful for my pumpkin smoothie recipe” (ha ha)
List as many as you like, and the next day, repeat.
2. Awaken with thanks
Before getting out of bed, sit up, quietly, and meditate on what you’re thankful for that day. Your room may still be dark, and try not to awaken your dogs, or spouse until you’re finished.
Think about everything that you’re grateful for. It could be that you’re healthy, employed, and earning a good income. It could be that you’re surrounded by furry pets that love and adore you. It could be your natural red hair, or that you ran 8 miles that week. It could be your toddler’s inquisitive nature, your teenage daughter’s report card, or your grandmother’s sparkly eyes and sage advice.
Then, open your eyes, and go.
Meditation is linked to a clear mind, better sleep, more confidence, improved focus, and about 100 other benefits.
Do you like the idea of meditating, but yet you can’t seem to motivate yourself? Sitting quietly, upright, for just a few minutes can bring calm.
Close your eyes, and each time a thought comes in, chase it away. View the darkness of your eyes like a movie. Try repeating a mantra, or short word over and over. You can also repeat a simple phrase, like “I am happy”, or “I am love”.
Happy Holiday’s, and don’t go it alone!