Recently, I’ve been reminded of the importance of gratitude.
Gratitude doesn’t mean becoming complacent or ignoring reality. It’s intentionally being aware of the good things going on in your life. This can transform your view of the world, your life, and therefore how you feel. You can still be grateful for where you are while working towards improvement. When you focus on what you perceive as bad, it affects your outlook and your mood. It makes you more prone to see the negative around you. It increases your suffering.
In contrast, when you choose gratitude, it increases your awareness of the good around you. I’ve heard stories of people who were in what I would think of as horrific circumstances. When they chose to focus on the good, it helped lessen their suffering.
Gratitude is the gateway to joy, whereas complaining and bitterness steal it away.
This practice of gratitude can be very powerful when we extend it to how we view our own bodies. When we focus on what our bodies do for us every single day, rather than what we may not like about our bodies, it increases our awareness of how our bodies serve us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) All God’s works are wonderful. When we view ourselves through the grace filled perspective of how God sees His handiwork, it increases our joy and appreciation of our bodies.
Over the years, when I feel myself getting caught up in negativity, I “fight” it with gratitude. One thing you can do is write down, or just meditate on, what you are grateful for. These can be good things or even hard things we are learning from. Doing this exercise helps me trust in God’s sovereignty, even if I cannot see what He is doing (or doing in me). When I apply this exercise to my own body, it helps me focus on all it does for me, rather than on ways I perceive it isn’t functioning correctly. It increases my joy, lessens my stress, lightens my load, and gives me an overall better outlook on my life/health.
Today, I invite you to try this exercise. For a week or more, write down at least 3 things you are grateful for every single day. For example, if you dislike how your legs look, write down what your legs do for you (such as helping you walk and get from place to place). If you are going through difficult circumstances, write down any good that may be coming out of it (such as making you more attuned to struggles others may be going through). Take note of how it changes your perspective and increases your awareness of the good things around you, or the good things your body does for you.Follow me on social media: