Practicing Gratitude

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grat•i•tude (grătˈĭ-to͞odˌ, -tyo͞odˌ)

  • The state of being grateful; thankfulness.

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On any healing journey, it can be hard to take a step back and just appreciate anything. When your health is making you slow down even though the rest of the world is speeding up, we can easily become frustrated and angry. The word “grateful” probably doesn’t come up in your vocabulary often, and quite honestly you might be resentful of those who tell you that you should be “grateful” for what you do have.  Because, let’s face it- having a chronic illness sucks, even when you are healing from it.
So how can we try to be more grateful? One great way is to just take some time to yourself and truly think about what is going on in your life:
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Practice grounding
  • Take a nice, long bath a few times a week and allow yourself to truly relax and enjoy it (throw in some Epsom salts, baking soda, and dried lavender for real relaxation)
  • Find a hobby that makes you happy- experiencing pure happiness everyday, even for a short amount of time can truly change your attitude
  • Start writing a journal or blog, or even start a “good things” page where everyday you list a few things that you are grateful for
  • Call/visit a friend or family member
  • Help others- whether it’s volunteering or even just helping others on an online forum

I know how hard it is to sit back and just think, “Yes I am blessed, I am lucky.” Especially when your health is getting you down. We have to learn to appreciate the small changes, because any progress is progress.  So did you get a full nights’ sleep for the first time in weeks? Amazing! Is your headache that you’ve had for 2 days gone? A miracle! Learn to embrace these small changes, because the more that we can learn to appreciate, the more we can change our attitudes. The more positive we can be, the faster we can heal.

Some days it’s ok to be frustrated, and for some people releasing anger is part of the healing process. But the easiest question you can ask yourself to put things in perspective is this: “Did I wake up today?” The answer is yes, you are awake and alive, and you are being given another new day to find the strength you need to heal.

It’s also ok to think this post is baloney- I’m pretty sure that when I was at my worst health-wise I would have scoffed at someone telling me to “be grateful”. But now everyday I do find the beauty in life, even if I’m not feeling 100%. We just have to hang in there and fight for better days!

Happy Healing!

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