By now, we all know that physical health is imperative for quality of life. We know that moving more, eating more whole foods and practicing mindful meditation can help prevent most chronic disease and increase longevity.
However, as an exuberant optimist, I find that practicing daily gratitude leads to overall satisfaction and a joyful heart. For some, this is easy, for others, the grass is always greener on the other side. As a Yogi, I have learned some easy steps to help find gratitude, even in the darkest of times. It brings me peace and takes what I have and makes it enough.
However, I still sometimes struggle, as we all do. We are human. Bad times happen. But those times make the good ones amazing. And when good times are in place, it’s time to soak it all in. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths and breathe in the goodness.
I teach my yoga students how to find gratitude by starting with the obvious. As we practice our breath, I have them say ‘thank you’ to their lungs for filling with air. To their ears for hearing my cues. For their site for seeing around them. For their ability to come to the gym. For the resources to exercise, work on their health and be surrounded by like-minded individuals. After all, the gym is full of endorphin-filled peeps!
Also, keeping a daily journal and finding 3 things a day to be grateful for will lift your spirit and fill your heart with bliss! Gratitude also prevents us from comparing. When we compare, we are telling ourselves that we are not good enough, that we are lacking. This type of thinking robs you of your joy. Plus, when you are experiencing a struggle, you may think you are the only one who has ever experienced it. But more than likely, you are not. It’s just a matter of riding through the storm with gratitude!
And speaking of struggles, there can often be a beautiful result. We just can’t see it until we are out of it. Struggles make us appreciate the gifts in our lives even more.
So, if you are feeling down, close your eyes, take a deep breath and find a list of what brings you joy. Maybe it’s a beautiful memory, a loved one, your pet or the fact you can read this.
And remember, gratitude takes what you have and makes it ENOUGH!
Maria is an Exercise Physiologist and certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. She holds a degree in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Community Wellness from Virginia Commonwealth University, Cum Laude. She is also a RYT 200 Yoga Instructor and Nutritional Consultant
Maria’s hobbies include investing in real estate, traveling the world and talking to her Morkie, Chole in a high pitched voice. In which, Chloe mostly ignores. Maria is married to Michael and has 3 grown sons.