- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Health Benefits of Being in Gratitude
Sometimes in our day to day life we forget about the many things that we should be grateful for. We take for granted things that are actually pretty amazing, like the fact that we can walk into our kitchen and turn on a faucet to get fresh running water. Or our ability to get into a warm shower when ever we want to.
I think about how many people on this planet do not have these luxury's. For instance the Haitians. Even before the earthquake, most of the population did not have fresh running water available at their fingertips like we do in America.
If you are reading this blog it means you have access to a computer. That tells me a lot about you. You are in a small percentage of the population of this earth that has electricity, running water, a roof over your head, a refrigerator for food, access to a car, and a school to get an education in.
Be "Grateful" for these things that you might find otherwise normal and mundane. Trust me, they are blessings that should be acknowledged as such. Instead of focusing on all of the things that you don't have, spend time being in gratitude for the things you do have.
In studies from Pepperdine University, being in gratitude can not only improve ones mental state but the physical body benefits as well. They found that gratitude improves cardiovascular and immune system functioning. People that are focused on gratitude had improved heart, pulse, and respiration rates.
Gratitude helps one adjust to life's challenges in a more positive way. They also discovered people who live with gratitude tend to live longer with better health.
If you are always focused on what you don't have or what you feel lacking in, stop and think about the things you do have.
Be appreciative of the ordinary things in your life, like running water, food, clothing, and a house to live in. Be grateful for your friends or family that you may have.
Think of all of the children in this world that do not have the chance to go to school and get an education. What a gift it is that we as Americans always have that choice.
Education is for you to be able to be independent and make a successful life for yourself. Education is a blessing.
Referring back to my blogs on Mindfulness, and remembering that the way we think is always a choice, choose to be grateful.
Spend some time right now thinking of the things you can be grateful for.
Feeling good is always our goal. Thinking of "lack" and "want" never makes you feel good. Thinking of things that you are grateful for will help you to feel good.
All we really have is right now. This moment in time is our reality, so choose to feel good right now by being grateful. Don't waste anymore time feeling bad about things that did happen, might happen, or haven't happened.
Acknowledge your blessings and know that your immune system will be stronger, your heart will be healthier, and your soul will be happier.
Mindfulness Tip for Gratitude:
Start counting your blessings, be in gratitude, and you will begin to understand how much better your life can be.