I decided to veer off my path of talking about exercise this week, and talk a little bit about gratitude. Given the events of the past few weeks with the Middle East turmoil, and now the horrific disaster that has taken place in Japan, I believe that many of us can reflect on the life that we have and feel gratitude for it.
There are many scientific studies that have shown people who practice gratitude in their daily lives, are happier and healthier for it. Rather than focus on what it is in our lives that we don't like, we need to focus on the things in our lives that we are grateful for. Watching what is happening around the world has shown me how truly blessed I am to live the life I live.
I may have my struggles, as most of us do, but they pale in comparison to the struggles of many. I found myself feeling gratitude for my warm and cozy bed last night as I watched the earthquake and tsunami victims on the news. I felt gratitude for the roof over my head, and the refrigerator in my kitchen full of food and drink. I fell asleep to quiet and calm, instead of bombs and gun fire as many do in the war torn countries around the world. I felt gratitude for this.
When I woke up this morning I was grateful for my warm house and the ability to have a hot cup of tea as I got ready for my day. The fact that I could take a warm shower and have water and electricity was more than so many people are able to do, again I was grateful. As I began my day of work I felt gratitude for the wonderful people who come to me and pay me to help them work out. How lucky I am to do what I do....more gratitude.
Then later in the morning a dear friend of mine gave me a gift that was so generous and thoughtful, it brought me to tears. How grateful I felt to have someone like her in my life who is so special. I literally swelled up with so much gratitude that I thought I would burst!
I am blessed in many ways, even if it is to just acknowledge my little cat who brings me joy and comfort, or the peacocks that visit my house each day. I am grateful for all of these things. I have gratitude for my teen girls who take my program for exercise and health instruction. I feel grateful that I can help them become happier and healthier people, for that I feel privileged and full of gratitude.
I feel such gratitude for my health. There are many people that can not make that statement, but I am able to....gratitude. I feel grateful to be able to get in my car and drive where ever I want to go. That is a freedom many people do not have. I have gratitude for my freedom of religion, or the freedom to not believe in religion. In many places of the world I could be jailed or murdered for that.
I am grateful to be a female in America. Women are degraded and tortured in so many parts of this world. They are seen as second class citizens, or even worse than that. I have gratitude to be a woman in the United States where we have a voice and are closer to equal rights than anywhere else on this planet. More gratefulness....
I have gratitude for my daughter who is wonderful, bright, loving, caring, and intelligent. I have gratitude for my brother who has come out of the darkness and is becoming the person he always could have been. I have gratitude for my friends and family who support me and love me unconditionally.
If you want to feel better, and actually be healthier, practice being in gratitude every day. I feel fantastic just by writing this blog. Make "your" list of what it is you are grateful for, and you might find your list growing as mine did. It is more productive to focus on what we are grateful for, rather than where we find lack. I also believe that when you focus on gratitude, more good things will fill up your life, just as I believe that focusing on the negative will bring you more negative.
So be in gratitude as often as you can. Make your gratitude list and read it everyday. Focus on what is right with your life, instead of what is wrong. Happy people are healthier people. Remember it is always a choice in what you want to focus on....make yours Gratitude!