gratitude

Give Gratitude for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week.

It is a time for joining family and friends for a feast, but it is also a time for giving thanks.

The problem is that most people take the former to the extreme and forget the latter; cramming congealed canned cranberries and stuffing themselves with heavy butter laden stuffing and forgetting to be thankful.

I see gyms open on Thanksgiving morning so people can purge the overload of calories they have yet to eat.

Then comes the post-Thanksgiving regret. The next day you can’t fit into your pants, the next week you step on the scale and see the pounds creeping up—and they don’t stop packing on until maybe you make that New Years Resolution to lose weight. You manage to peel off a few pounds before you lose your resolution to stick to your Resolution and return to your old habits.

But I’ve been thinking, what if we took a different approach, what if we cooked or encouraged our family to cook healthy alternatives to favorite dishes, what if we savored a few bites of our favorite dishes and stopped eating when we were full?

I want people to lose the idea that they are “being bad” by enjoying Thanksgiving and instead wake up to the true meaning of gratitude. Be grateful for your life (in spite of your problems), be grateful for your body (even if it is not the perfect shape), be grateful for all the luxuries you have just being able to sit (or stand or lie down) and consume this post.

Treat your body with gratitude and respect and feed it with things that will nourish it. Do things that will benefit it, be active, be healthy and be grateful for the ability to act in such a way. Don’t look at healthy behaviors and foods as a punishment for “being bad,” learn to enjoy them and approach them with a sense of gratitude.

By all means, enjoy your Thanksgiving but remember the true essence of this day is to celebrate gratitude. Find peace if you over indulge, forgive yourself if you eat more than you intended and truly enjoy the spirit of giving thanks and the ability to give yourself a new start with each day.

And by the way, did you know that gratitude is good for your health?

Scientists have found that people who regularly practice giving thanks, have better kidney function, lower blood-pressure and stress-hormone levels, and a stronger heart.

I feel like Thanksgiving has become more about gluttony and regret than gratitude and I believe that it we focus on the true meaning of  Thanksgiving we will have a healthier and happier holiday. Cheers!

Source: Louisa Kamps. 6 Surprising Reasons Why Gratitude is Great for Your Health. http://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/why-gratitude-is-great-for-your-health

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Write Things Down to Succeed.

Things happen when you write stuff down. It’s as if the simple act of putting pen to paper gets the ball rolling. Here are four simple ways writing things down can help you succeed:

1. Write down your goals- putting your goals on paper helps bring clarity to what it is you want to achieve. It also holds you accountable, because it is no longer just in your head, it’s on paper. Coming back to a goal list can help remind you to get started and thus help you succeed.

2. Make lists of tasks you need to do– By simply writing things down you help de-clutter your mind by organizing your tasks and taking the pressure off your memory. Also, the act of crossing things off your list makes you feel accomplished and productive and encourages you to achieve more.

3. Write down your thoughts, troubles and feelings– Sometimes the act of writing things down on paper can illuminate a situation or problem and help you come up with a solution. Also, putting your problems on paper can be cathartic and help you release some of your negative energy.

4. Start a gratitude journal– Each day write down something you are grateful for and be specific. The act of focusing on positive things throughout your day will help boost your mood and getting you in the habit of focusing on the positive more often.

You can start writing things down in a way that is convenient for you. I’ve used my “notes” on my iphone and I also carry around a small notebook in my purse. Of course, blogging is a great idea too! Try making a commitment to writing down your goals and then creating a task list and a gratitude journal everyday for a month. You will be on your way to success in no time!