Want to Be Healthier? Be Grateful
THE HUMAN CONDITION
It’s a simple fact of life: We as human beings don’t fully appreciate the things we have until they are taken from us. It’s extremely sad but true. We take these things for granted. This holds true for much more than just material possessions: It also applies to the people in our lives as well as our health. Especially our health. Far too many people start exercising and eating better only when they have to, when they are forced to, due to injury, illness or disease. Walking, swimming, running, exercising, playing outside with your children – these are all activities people don’t make time for when they are healthy, then would give anything to participate in when they are no longer able.
LIFE IS HARD
A second unmistakable fact of human existence? It’s that life is hard. It’s unavoidable. We will all be confronted with numerous challenges and obstacles throughout our lives. Some will be small. Many will be big. There will be peaks and valleys, highs and lows – Each and every one of us will be tested, over and over again.
C’est la vie.
THE STRESS RESPONSE
What many people fail to realize is that the difficult situations in and of themselves are not stressful. Stress is actually a response. How you interpret and react to life’s challenges are therefore a choice, one that is under your control. The key is to realize what you can control and what you cannot. No person or situation can ever “make” you feel a certain way. Those feelings comes from within. Your reaction and response are yours and yours alone.
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE
Just like you can choose to be stressed, you can also choose to be happy, regardless of the circumstances. You are in complete control of how you react to tough situations and the obstacles placed in front of you. If you believe them to be insurmountable, then they will be so. If you keep moving forward and focus on going up and over them, then you will soon find yourself on the other side. External forces cannot dictate what you feel inside – that is 100% up to you.
THE MIND/BODY CONNECTION
The connection between the mind and the body is truly astounding. The mere thoughts you have in your mind can elicit physical reactions in your body. A simple yet powerful example of this is how you can begin to salivate at the mere thought of eating a certain food. That’s pretty incredible. It should also illustrate how important your mindset is and how you should focus on being positive and choosing happiness. Stressful thoughts can and will negatively impact your health, while focusing on being positive will add to your physical well-being.
ATTITIUDE OF GRATITUDE
grat·i·tude: Noun: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Being thankful, showing appreciation, returning kindness; that’s gratitude.
Studies show that demonstrating gratitude has an incredible number of benefits, both mental as well as physical. People who express gratitude exhibit fewer symptoms of being sick. They have more energy and are less depressed. They are better able to handle adverse situations. They are more optimistic, and yes, they are happier.
How great is that?
Opting to be grateful is also a choice. It’s up to you. Appreciate what you have while you have it. Find happiness in the little things. Put a smile on your face and give to others.
“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” – Rabbi Hyman Schachtel