“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Thornton Wilder
Please understand that you are perfect just the way you are right now. The journey you are on is unique and special. There is nothing wrong or broken about you. Your mind and body are working perfectly even when they are doing things you don’t like.
You get constant feedback from your body and emotions about where you are in the moment so you can decide where you want to go next. This is a spiritual journey, as much as a physical and emotional journey, of changing your body and manifesting love from within, as well as from another.
While there are many factors in life that are out of your control, you do have the ability to manage your thoughts and how you react to every situation. How you perceive your experiences will color the kinds of emotions attached to them. Choosing a more positive and hopeful outlook will produce better feelings. There are always two points of view to choose from in every situation: what is working and what is not.
Focus on what is working to practice gratitude every single day. This will not only help you manifest more of what you want, it will also make you happy immediately. When you can control your thoughts and feelings, you influence your happiness. If you find this difficult to do or sustain on your own, talking to someone like a psychologist, counselor, or life coach can help you shift your thoughts and change your feelings. Start by thanking your lucky stars.
Having Gratitude Can Positively Affect Your Future
Research has shown that people who think positively have an increased capacity for happiness. Choosing to be grateful will support your efforts of maintaining healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. The connection between gratitude and health goes back throughout history; philosophers and religious leaders have proclaimed gratitude as a virtue that is integral to health and well-being for centuries. Positive psychology is the current movement of mental health professionals who are taking a close look at how gratitude can benefit our health. The Mayo Clinic staff reports that researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on our bodies.
Health benefits from positive thinking:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of stress
- Greater resistance to the common cold; better immunity
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Where to Start?
What we think and how we think are habits. We have practiced them over and over until they became second nature, which is why we feel justiϐied when we have a negative reaction to something and call it natural. The best way to start to change these habits is by having a Gratitude Journal. I use one every night before I go to bed to make a list of what went well during the day. There are predesigned journals out there that you can buy, or you can simply use a notebook or piece of paper. The easiest way to start is by asking yourself what you are grateful for and make a list. This directs your attention to things that feel good. We often overlook these things because we have been trained to worry about what it is we did not accomplish each day.Focusing on things such as incomplete tasks can add stress to your body and emotions. Stress repels joy. You get to choose one.
Set a regular time aside in your mind everyday to make a gratitude list. I make mine before bed and keep the journal on the nightstand. This is a system that works for me. You may want to do it after dinner or when you get home from work to reframe your mind and focus on what positivethings happened during your day. The important thing is to do it, regardless of the system you choose.
Body Facts to be Grateful For
To get you started, here are some amazing facts about the body that we take for granted:
- Your brain triples in size between birth and adulthood, until it weighs as much as the heart and lungs put together.
- We are about 70 percent water.
- We give birth to 100 billion red cells every day.
- In relation to body size, the human brain is larger than the brain of any animal on earth.
- Our blood is on a 60,000-mile journey.
- Our heart beats around 100,000 times every day.
- Every minute your two kidneys, no larger than a ϐist, are hard at work ϐiltering waste products and excess water from your blood.
- The average adult’s skin spread out ϐlat is large enough to cover a room 9 feet by 15 feet.
- We exercise at least 30 muscles when we smile.
- In an average lifetime of 70 years, a person sheds 441 lbs. of skin.
- The average red blood cell lives for 120 days.
- A baby grows from a dot-sized fertilized egg into a fully developing baby in the space of just 40 weeks.
- Our nose is our personal air-conditioning system: it warms cold air, cools hot air, and filters impurities.
- We are born with all of our organs in full working order. For most of us, despite the abuse we dish out to our bodies, they will last largely unaided until our dying day.By then, they will have performed some incredible feats.
- There are more living organisms on the skin of a single human being than there are human beings on the surface of the Earth.
- Your lungs will have inhaled and exhaled enough air to ϐill either 1 of the 2 largest airships ever built 1.5 times over.
- Your body has about 5.6 liters or 6 quarts of blood that circulates through the body three times every minute.
- Your heart will have beaten more than 2.5 billion times, pumping enough blood around the body to ϐill the fuel tanks of 700 jumbo jets.
- The human body can function without a brain.
- Your eyeballs are 3.5% salt.
- Your stomach and intestines will have digested the weight of six bull African elephants or more in food.
There are hundreds of facts about the body that we could focus on at any given moment to shift from a state of frustration to gratitude. Reading this list every day can also help you appreciate the body you were given. If you get stuck, start your gratitude list every night with one of these facts to set the mood.
JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist and the host of several podcast shows including Fit 2 Love and Spirit, Purpose & Energy. She is the Director of Invisible Fitness, an Amazon best-selling author of Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life, and author of Knack Absolute Abs: Routines for a Fit and Firm Core. She was named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine. JJ has been featured in many national magazines, including Shape, Fitness, Muscle and Fitness HERS, Elegant Bride, and Women’s Health as well as appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox 11, the CW and KTLA. Her newest book, The Invisible Fitness Formula: 5 Secrets to Release Weight and End Body Shame debuted at #2 on the Amazon Best Seller List for Women’s Health and #2 as a Hot New Release on May 18th 2017.