November is a time for giving thanks and counting your blessings. That’s really great and all, but how much more awesome would it be to practice gratitude every single day? When you’ve trained your mind to see the world through an appreciative filter, it leads to a more fulfilling life overall, as well as a myriad of positive health benefits.
In psychology, the concept of “gratitude” equates to an emotional appreciation of whatever you receive, whether tangible or ethereal. Recognizing and praising all of the goodness in your life everyday leads naturally to feeling more connected with yourself, your loved ones and your community.
This is a practice that all leaders — even ones in the health club industry, can forget.
A revolutionary study on gratitude by Robert Emmons, PhD showed people who focus on being grateful daily enjoy a wide range of mental and physical perks, including:
- Increased self esteem
- Decreased blood pressure and an immune system boost
- Less stress and anxiety
- Better sleep
I’m a big fan of creating systems to improve your life — and striving to practice a more grateful outlook every day is a habit that can be challenging to get into at first. You need to create an easy, fool-proof system to remind and encourage you to take a few moments each day for some self-care and gratitude awareness. Changing your mind and your behaviors takes discipline, so give yourself a little help by using technology — and don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a few days at first. Jump back into your routine and be grateful that you have a chance to try again.
Of course, there’s an app for that! I really enjoy the Five Minute Journal — it’s a super handy way to record your thoughts every morning and every evening. It gently reminds you to record today’s ideas and feelings using some simple tips that are based on positive psychology research. I find that the 5 Minute Journal is quite a valuable tool as an author as well, allowing me to go back and examine my thoughts for ideas that I’d like to explore further.
Cultivating a daily gratitude practice is a little challenging, but well worth the effort. You deserve to live a life full of context and meaning, and enjoy the substantial mental and physical benefits of having this powerful, life-altering mindset.
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer and keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O.