The rain has let up, the sun is shining and I am smiling! This month I want to challenge everyone to focus on Gratitude. It is so easy in life to get busy and overwhelmed, feeling like there is never enough time to get work done and family needs met each week, . Because of this we forget about alone time, time for exercise, and fun… what even is fun? Feeling overwhelmed can impact our health by increasing stress and negativity in our lives. It can even leave us feeling down in the dumps. To cope with stress we end up skipping exercise to make time for “more important things”, making poor food choices, and sometimes drinking too much alcohol, which at the end of that day all add up, making us feel more stressed.
Take a Second to Notice Your Surroundings
Even though stress can seem to build up, the reality is there are many gifts all around us, things to feel grateful for. In fact we seldom, if at all, stop and notice these gifts because we are just too damn busy. For one, the miracle of life. I sometimes forget I’m pregnant and actually making a human being 24/7 until she reminds me with a gentle, loving “kick”. When she does it, I stop whatever I’m doing, rub my belly and pause to be grateful for how lucky I am to be growing my family, how grateful I am for my husband, our nanny, and friends and family that support us. Yes, life has its daily challenges, but they aren’t going anywhere and we have to find ways to find the joy surrounding these challenges.
Change the Way You See it!
What if you paused each day to find at least ONE thing you are grateful for. What if when you’re stressed out, you take a deep breath and remind yourself of three gifts that bring you joy in some way. Today I am writing this standing at the airport. As I am typing I have found three good things to experience in this simple moment: the sun is shining bright and it looks absolutely beautiful outside, a family nearby is having breakfast anticipating their vacation and it reminds me of my family vacations and how fortunate we were for those experiences, and then I see someone on crutches with a broken leg and I feel grateful that I am able to walk on my own two feet and have strong legs that carry me through mile long runs and tough exercises.
This is a small moment of gratitude, but it’s effective. By paying attention to the present moment, and letting in good, positive thoughts I feel good. When I feel good, I have a good attitude, I’m optimistic, and I’m motivated. Motivated to be healthy because I want to be and because it makes me feel good and strong. The more this “good stuff” flows in my life, the more likely I am to want to take care of myself – and actually do it. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to avoid the occasional cocktail or desert. I’m going to eat and drink the things I want, but I’ll actually enjoy them with people I love instead of to fill a void. I won’t eat emotionally because I don’t “need” to.
So, let’s try it this month – a 30 day challenge of gratitude….
Here are some suggestions on how to get started:
- Morning gratitude session. Take 2-3 minutes each morning to give thanks to whoever or whatever you’re grateful for. Simply close your eyes and silently take the time to give thanks.
- Say thank you. When someone does something nice for you, remember to say thank you. This small step will not only make you feel good, but make the other person feel good as well.
- Call to say thanks. Sometimes you might think about something nice that someone did for you. Perhaps you remember during your gratitude session. When you do, pick up the phone and call the person, just to say thanks. Let them know what they did that you’re grateful for, and why you appreciate it. All it takes is a minute or two. You could even send an email or old fashioned snail mail, just let the person know you are thankful.
- Give thanks for “negative” things in your life. There’s always two ways to look at something. Many times we think of something as negative because it is stressful or sad. But that same thing can be looked at in a more positive way. Problems can be seen as opportunities to grow, experiences to learn from. Next time something “bad” happens try to be grateful for what the situation has taught you.
I want to hear about what reminds you to be grateful!
- Share with me on Facebook , Twitter or Pinterest. I’ll also be posting motivations, tips, and responding to your questions EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- If you have a blog, write about your experience and share those links.
- I’m using the hashtag #30DayChallenge