Health Inspiration: Gratitude
Ah, the post “Freshly Pressed” (dream come true!) blitz is starting to wear off, but I am so grateful for the experience. My deepest yearning for this blog has always been to create a community, to inspire discussion, and to help people think about ideas in different ways. But, being more than a little technologically incompetent (but I’m trying to learn! I really am!), I have found that achieving these goals was difficult and frustrating. There were many times that I wanted to just give up and quit or where I felt my blog was not moving in a positive direction, but I have truly learned a lesson in perseverance and commitment to what you believe in. And I truly feel that being “Freshly Pressed” is bringing me a step closer to beginning to achieve these goals.
And so I’ve been thinking for the past week what to write my next post “Freshly Pressed” post on and then it hit me: gratitude. The holiday season is an especially perfect time to express gratitude, and yet we get so mired in commercialism and a mentality of “What am I going to get for the holidays?” that we forget about all that we already have. There is so much to be grateful for, every single day!
Now, I need to get better at practicing what I preach. Recently, I have been getting into unnecessary fights with loved ones, have been feeling depressed about my seemingly never-ending myriad of health problems, have been self-sabotaging goals and allowing the negative to supersede the positive in my daily life. And all of this takes a toll on my body and mind: I feel weighed down, physically and spiritually; I am lacking energy and drive; I start to slide back into old negative tendencies that have never served me well.
And there’s a reason for all this: it has been scientifically proven (as if being proven by my own experiences weren’t enough! ;) ), from Harvard to the American Psychological Association, that being thankful–expressing gratitude–for what you have will make you feel healthier, happier, and more connected with the world.
Now, the holidays are also a time of stress (I have a sinus infection, my schedule is filled with more obligations, many people travel to see family), and so sometimes it is difficult to take a “time out” and focus on gratitude. But there are so many small ways to do so: you can subscribe to a wonderful blog or website that guides you in a positive direction (2baware.net is my most recent favorite, and the above image is from Integrative Nutrition), you can start a project like a close friend and I are doing where at the end of each day we email each other one positive thing from our days, you can cut out a “Gratitude Mantra” and post it on the side of your computer screen so that you repeat it to yourself or even just catch a glimpse of it every time you’re working on something.
I for one am going to be more mindful of being grateful on a daily basis, and I will report back how I feel (I’m already feeling better just thinking about it!). I hope you will join me in this and share your experiences too.