How lucky are we? We get to choose healthy, nourishing foods to eat. We get to exercise. We get to decide who receives our time and attention. We get to work toward our goals. Did you notice the language used was “we get to” and not “we have to”? Sometimes simple mindset shifts can reap many rewards.
“In the past two decades, a growing body of evidence in the field of social science has found that gratitude has measurable benefits for just about every area of our lives. Gratitude appears to contribute substantially to individual well-being and physical health,” writes Misty Pratt in The Science of Gratitude published in February 2022 at https://www.mindful.org/the-science-of-gratitude/. The article goes on to cite benefits to mood, immunity, heart health, and relationships.
Making healthy choices to support our nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, sleep, stress, and support system can feel challenging sometimes. Imagine taking a few moments each day to consider what you are grateful for and how that might impact your attitude toward the decisions you need to make. You don’t have to meal prep, rather, you are grateful to have the access and means to buy healthy foods to prepare for the week to nourish your body. You don’t have to exercise, rather, you are thankful that you are able-bodied and healthy enough to get your workout in for the day – bonus points if you get to do it with a friend.
This message would be remiss without mentioning that gratitude can be even more powerful when you put it in the context of the difficult or negative things in life. The juxtaposition of negative with positive can make the positive seem that much sweeter. We are experiencing an extraordinary New England spring right now. Spring is so incredibly beautiful, filled with color and hope, but would we even notice it without the gray, cold, quiet winter season? Our farm stands are open. Access to healthy, local, whole foods has improved. Firing up the grill has become a regular occurrence. We might take these things for granted if they were available year-round, but on the heels of winter, gratitude for them comes naturally.
Carving out some time to stop and consider what you are grateful for each day can only bring positive benefits. Maybe June is the month when you will start a daily gratitude practice. Consider those moments when you say “thank you” throughout the day – really acknowledge what you are thankful for and the person who played a role in it. Start a daily gratitude journal. Meditate on what you have received from others and what you have given others. Begin each morning with thinking about three things you are grateful for. It will be interesting to observe how this gratitude practice trickles down to various areas of your life, including your nutrition choices.
So, what do you get to do today? You are so lucky. 😊
Nutrition Coach at Prowess Fitness + Nutrition