“A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.” – James E. Faust
WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?
Yes, I know this is cliche this time of year BUT I believe traditions can help us give pause to this crazy life and help us remember how we should live. What are you thankful for? You might ask what this has to do with fitness? Why is a gym owner writing about be grateful? It has a lot to do with fitness actually. We can not divide the mind from the body. What we do with one affects the other. Ever have a stressful day at work? Was it easy to get to your workout that day? And if you did get to the gym, was it a great training session? Probably not. What if your internal dialogue was positive and uplifting? Probably worked a lot harder in the gym. Developing that healthy internal dialogue is important to improving our fitness. I would actually argue that it is completely necessary. That without this mindset shift you cannot improve your fitness to its fullest potential. The mind and the body are that inextricably linked. Mindset will either hold you back or propel you forward in your fitness.
One way we can develop that positive internal dialogue is to create a thankfulness routine, a gratefulness habit. What’s the difference between thankfulness and gratefulness? Thankfulness is a feeling, the starting place for creating gratefulness, which is an action.
So try this next time you find yourself if a downward spiral.
Stop what you are doing
Slowly take 3 deep breaths
Speak out one thing you are thankful for.
You will have to be intentional about this. It will not happen by accident. Force yourself to speak out one thing you are thankful for. Can’t think of anything? It can be small. I believe that no matter the circumstance you can find something to thankful for. I don’t say this lightly. I know you some have been through some extremely difficult moments. But if you have breath in your lungs you can be thankful for this day, thankful for relationships, thankful for a moment, heck! thankful for your coffee! Follow these simple steps and see your mindset shift.
So, we know how thankfulness can help in a crisis, what about in our day to day non-crisis moments? Even there we can use gratefulness to grow. Remember, we start with thankfulness (feeling) and move to gratefulness (action). So what actions can we take to keep ourselves in a positive mindset? The key is that word…ACTION! We must DO something. Try this:
Daily, find one activity that you can do that allows you to move your body at low levels and that free’s up your mind. Think-hiking, walking the dog, riding a bike, gardening, cleaning your house.
Let your mind be quiet. No music right now. Feel all five senses.
Think about 3 things you are thankful for that day. Maybe a person you talked with who made you feel appreciated, maybe an experience you had that made you feel loved, maybe the warmth of your house that makes you feel secure.
Now, how can you help someone else feel that way? Could you write a coworker a note? How about smile and engage the server at a restaurant? How about sending a text to a loved one in your life?
Ready to get in the best shape of your life in 2019? Start by creating your thankfulness/gratefulness habits during this season!