With a Thankful Heart

wooden-2562242_1920.jpg

We are officially entering the holiday season. A time that we are all more conscious of being thankful.

We are right there with you at Intelligent Exercise. We are so grateful for our first two months open in Jackson, our growing clientele, and our expanding services! But, we don’t want the gratitude to end when November comes to a close! Having a thankful heart has so many advantages we want to continue throughout the year! It has been studied and shown over and over that the more grateful a person is in their daily life they are happier, more satisfied, have higher levels of self confidence, and have a higher probability of making new friends. We admit though, it’s not always easy to be in a thankful mindset, BUT there are exercises you can do to increase your grateful mind, and maintain it throughout the year.

There are many methods that involve writing down things for which you are grateful, to keep appreciation of even minor blessings in the front of your mind. From small things, such as writing gratitudes on a slip of paper and putting them in a jar, which can serve as reminders on a hard day; to keeping a gratitude journal and making a point to find something, no matter how small, to write about and focus on for a few moments of your day.

If you are more inclined to create than write, there are plenty of ways to express gratitude through various art mediums. Something as simple as a #grateful Instagram post everyday, to more involved projects such as a gratitude tree; this is where you write a blessing on a ‘leaf’ and hang it on a created tree, using what supplies you have on hand to create both the leaves and the tree. Gratitude banners are also a fun way to turn your blessings into an ever growing representation, with small panel creations strung together to remind you of what you have to be thankful for. The options are endless for a creative mind.

Not all of us enjoy writing or creating and displaying what we are grateful for. But there are still ways for us to be mindful and keep an active perspective of appreciation, such as a gratitude stone (or any item). The idea is you decide on an item, and every time you come in contact with or see that item you take a moment and consider what you are grateful for. So a stone in your pocket, a certain ring on your hand, a small figurine on your desk, a feather hanging from your rear view mirror; literally, anything will do. It is up to you to keep it in your daily path to come in contact with, so you can take that moment and focus your mind on being thankful.

For those of us who don’t want to carry an object, or keep a written record there is always the simply beautiful act of meditation. In a day and age that most of us can do virtually anything with our phones, there are apps for helping walk you through meditations of all sorts (my favorite is Inscape). Some apps will even remind you to meditate! If even that is too much of a time commitment for your busy schedule, you can decide on a time of day when you are typically driving or resting, and set an alarm on your phone to remind you, just take a few breaths and be thankful.

It is a great lesson at any stage in life to find even small things on bad days to be grateful for. Our minds become naturally inclined to find the good once we train them that way, and in any time more good can never be bad.

May your November be beautiful, and your gratitude stretch through the year.

Koren Farmer
Pilates/Ballet Instructor

Michelle Deer