In the turbulence that is life, one of the healthiest things we can do, I think, is to recognize how much we actually have. When it comes to pursuing health, the frustration of the experience can cause us to see only our failures and yearn for what we don’t have. However, we in fact have been given so much.
Things that come to mind:
- Knowledge of health
- Access to the types of foods I need to heal and strengthen my body (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.)
- A solid support system of people who care about me
- Other people to support and care about along their journeys (reminding me that I am not alone)
- The ability to set goals and to implement changes in my life
- A desire to improve
- A body that has stayed with me my whole life and is capable of getting stronger
I have found gratitude to be very helpful recently during some stressful times. As I’ve been pursuing a new degree and new career, I’ve felt stress at a more intense level than I can remember. However, knowing what I have – a wonderful family, the ability to achieve my goals, a mind that works, more time left on this earth to make the most of – has helped greatly.
An interesting Reader’s Digest article listed several benefits to living with gratitude, such as better sleep, improved physical health, improved will power, less stress, more friendships.
How can be more grateful? I think prayer helps. Reciting back to God that we recognize what He has given us can help us remember what we have. I’ve also heard other ideas, like making a list and reviewing it regularly.
Whatever way we choose to remember, the exercise probably one of the healthiest things we can do.