By Lauren Denos: 5/11/2015 (Mindset)

Create an Attitude of Gratitude!

Be thankful for something every day. Some people call this an attitude of gratitude. Here is the thing. It is easy to see all the bad things in your life, or all the things that are not going your way, but what are you accomplishing by focusing on those things? I would say nothing, but that is not true. You are creating a feeling of restlessness, resentment, anger, depression and a host of other emotions you do not want. What’s more, you are throwing yourself into a spiral of bad emotions. This is not helping you to achieve the life you want to live. When you are thankful for what you have, things start to look a lot brighter. Where at one time you may have been seeing no way out, you now start to see plenty of options and directions you can take.

Because I talk about being healthy a lot, let's look at how this works with exercise. When you are not used to working out (and even sometimes when you are), it is easy to think of working out as this horrible thing that you have to do, almost like a punishment. You are focusing on a negative aspect of something that you should be grateful for. I challenge you to start seeing the truth of the matter. Working out is not a punishment it is a reward! A healthy body is not an automatically given thing, it is earned or at the very least maintained.

Another way to be thankful when it comes to things like exercise and healthy eating is to think of how lucky you are to be able to do this in the first place. For example, you could be on a run and you could think about how lucky you are to have a body that is healthy enough to run. There are many people out there who are not as fortunate. This goes for any exercise you are doing including walking. Think to yourself how lucky and privileged you are. This makes the workout take on a whole new appearance in your eyes.

Be thankful for the healthy food you get to eat. When you are feeding yourself with junk food and sitting around when you could be moving, that is the downward spiral we are talking about. You are putting yourself into this negative tail spin. You are telling yourself that you are not worthy. Furthermore, you are allowing yourself to become old before your time, and limiting your strength, your flexibility, your endurance. For anything you want to do in life, a healthy lifestyle will make it easier. You might say, “well, my job is being on a computer all day, and using creative thinking and I have no desire to do anything else.” Okay, let's look at that. When you are sitting at a chair all day don't you start to get sore? Muscles start to complain. I have seen the relief that working out can have on the body in these cases. Or we can look at your mental capacity. For work, you would probably need good mental stamina and clarity. Well, exercise gets blood flowing to the brain and allows for better use of the muscle that is the brain. What you eat will also have a huge effect on the brain, food can either be a source of illness or a source of health and healing.

Whether you are unhappy or thankful in your life, it has an effect on your health. These thoughts cause depression and stress. That is not a conducive thing for a healthy life or changing your life around. You might say that as soon as you get your work settled down you will be able to have less stress and then you will be happier and healthier. It does not work that way. Because when you are in this habitual negative state of thought, you will always have something coming up that causes you stress or needs to be done, your kid gets sick, you have to work overtime, you are tired from lack of sleep the list goes on and on. Do not wait for your circumstances to change. When you work on your mind first, the circumstances will change on their own. Sometimes the circumstances don't even have to change, it is just how you are looking at them that has to change. When you can be thankful for your work and know they trust you with giving you a big project, the stressful negative feeling of hating that you have to work so many hours, changes and you can then realize that this is a pretty cool opportunity. I am not saying that everything works that way, but life in general gets better and your health gets better as a result. It is easy to feel good when all the outside circumstances are great, but that is not really a test of your mental strength. The real test will be being thankful for what you have even when things look their worst (I speak from experience). Start today, you are worth it. You deserve to have a life that you are happy to be living!





 

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-Lauren