“It’s not the joy that makes us grateful, it’s the gratitude that makes us joyful.” ~David Steindl-Rast
Life is amazing. It’s like a giant roller coaster…one second we are on a high and the next we are on a low. It’s full of joy, sadness, fun, excitement, challenges, periods of struggle that seem never-ending, and the list goes on and on.
The thing is, we often think that we will be happy when we reach our “ideal”…whatever that is.
I will be happy when I lose 50 pounds.
I will be happy when I can finally get my eating habits in control.
I will be happy when I can finally get some sleep.
I will be happy when I don’t have 5 people constantly needing my attention.
I will be happy when I achieve my career goals.
I will be happy when I have time to take care of myself.
I will be happy when I get over this illness.
I’ll stop there… you get the point, right?
Now before you yell at me for saying you should be grateful for being overweight, let me explain myself first.
I was overweight at one point in my life.
If I didn’t go through a period of gaining weight and feeling terrible literally ALL the time, I would have never gotten to the point of being so sick and tired of feeling like crap. If I didn’t get to that point, I would have never started working out and eating healthy.
I wouldn’t have learned to take care of my body. I wouldn’t have learned how to eat for energy. I wouldn’t have learned how to help other women feel good about themselves again.
Now, if you are overweight, tired, sick, achy, WHATEVER it is that you’re feeling…I want you to know that your body is TALKING to you. It’s telling you something. It’s giving you a signal that something is OFF. And it wants you to listen up. That alone is something to be grateful for.
You don’t have to be overweight to be “unhealthy.” Lots of “skinny” people have very unhealthy habits. Your weight is not necessarily a predictor of health. Some naturally thin people never feel the need to exercise or eat healthy because if they’re skinny, what’s the need?
So some people live their whole lives being “skinny” yet unhealthy because they never gain weight and therefore don’t see the need to workout.
Working out is not just about losing weight. It changes EVERY aspect of your life for the better.
It increases your energy levels, happiness, health, confidence, motivation, and strength.
So if you have weight to lose, feel tired, are constantly getting sick, etc., be THANKFUL that your body is working just the way it should. Our bodies are amazing and intelligent and when we experience uncomfortable symptoms it’s a sign that we need to take action to make a change. If your current condition is pushing you to take care of yourself or to become a better version of YOU, then that’s a blessing!
And know that we are all on our own journey, and everything that we experience, good and bad, is meant to challenge is and change us for the better, if we react appropriately.
Whatever you are unhappy with, I challenge you to this:
For the next 21 days, I want you to take everything you experience and turn it into something to be grateful for, and just WATCH how your life will change!!!
Here are some examples:
Instead of thinking:
“My husband left his socks on the ground AGAIN. UGH.”
“I woke up 4 times last night with the baby and I’m SO SO tired WHY ME.”
“I only got to work out for 5 minutes before my son woke up from his nap. I’m so frustrated.”
Try changing it around to this:
“My husband left his socks on the ground. I am so grateful for his socks on the ground because it means that I have a wonderful husband in my life who I love very much. Not everyone gets to spend their life with their other half”
“I woke up 4 times last night with my baby. I’m so grateful I have a sweet little baby that I get to take care of and love.”
“YASSSS girl. I got to workout for 5 minutes today! It was 5 minutes of bringing energy into my body and taking care of myself so I can take care of others. Every minute counts towards my goals.”
I know I just made that sound totally corny…but feel free to word it however you like! The idea is to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
Now you might be thinking, “Well that’s great Hanan. You seem to live on some hippie dippie universe where everything is unicorns and rainbows. But I’m just not FEELIN’ it…”
In Tony Robbins’ book, Awaken The Giant Within, one of the things he talks about is focus. What we focus on determines how we FEEL. Seems almost too simple, right!? I mean, we can control what we focus on to determine how we FEEL, so why do we always act like a slave to our emotions and feelings? The answer to this is that most of us have developed negative thought patterns (which we can break, with practice).
The example Tony uses in his book is racing cars. The #1 rule of thumb that they teach you in when learning to race cars is: “Focus on where you want to go, NOT on what you fear.”
“If you start to skid out of control, the tendency, of course, is to look at the wall. But if you keep focusing on it, that’s exactly where you’ll end up. Drivers know that you go where you look; you travel in the direction of your focus.”
I actually put a tab on this page of the book and wrote, “EPIC” on the tab hehe. I find this so true in life and once I read it it made so much sense.
So, I know it’s not easy to change how you feel. TRUST ME. I have my share of “off” days. So for the next 21 days, let’s try, together, to change what we focus on to change our lives.
For the next 21 days, try to be grateful in every situation you have and with every thought you have.
Keep a gratitude journal with you and write down ten things you’re grateful for every day. And hey– I know what I’m asking you to do is not easy, but happiness isn’t going to come to us out of nowhere.
We have to actively CREATE IT in every moment.
And comment below and let me know what you’re thankful for today!!! ❤