How Gratitude Makes You Healthy

An attitude of gratitude. Thankful. Blessed. We all know that we should appreciate the things, people, and opportunities we have; however, did you know that an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has proven health benefits? (Possibly even more than that green juice you paid for.) Before we chat science, why not start with a little exercise to get that gratitude flowing? Ready, set, gratitude.

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  • The simple act of expressing thanks automatically lessens stress, which can lead to illnesses like cancer and heart disease, overtime. So, next time you’re in a rut, shift your focus to the good things you have going for you to boost your mood and your immune system.
  • Grateful people are more likely to take care of themselves, which is hugely related to both physical and mental well-being. Dedicating time for self-care makes us happier, less stressed, more focused, and more capable to take care of others. Think of the oxygen masks on airplanes; we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first.
  • Showing thanks may spark new relationships. Whether your colleague does you a favor or a stranger holds the door for you, expressing appreciation may initiate conversation, which may lead to friendship, which may lead to more happiness and even more gratitude.
  • An attitude of gratitude increases self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem because your focus is on the good things that you like about yourself. Heck yes.
  • Grateful people are less likely to blame others, react with aggression, and experience anger, as they acknowledge their blessings and feel more empathy for others. Bye bye, road rage.
  • Trouble sleeping? Gratitude reduces anxiety, which can keep us awake or interrupt sleep. Simply put, get grateful and get good shut-eye.
  • Gratitude boosts resilience. We’re far more likely to overcome an obstacle or stay strong through a tough time if we keep an attitude of gratitude.
  • Grateful people are proven to exercise more, which also relieves stress and initiates all of the other benefits listed above. Lace up your sneakers for this double whammy.
  • You do not have to be “successful” to feel gratitude. In fact, those with less money or “stuff” have actually been proven to feel more gratitude. It’s not about what we have or do not have, it’s about perspective.

So, how do we practice daily gratitude? Simply set aside time daily or throughout the day to count your blessings. Write them down or simply make a mental list if you’re on-the-go. Be more observant of when others do something nice for you or someone else and express your appreciation. Even if you’re really down in the dumps, force yourself to smile or think of one thing you’re thankful for. It takes little energy and actually produces happy hormones, which lead to all of the above. Giving thanks all year-round will make you a healthier, happier, more productive, well-rested, confident, unstoppable human being.

One Healthy Breakdown: adopt an attitude of gratitude and reap the benefits…then express your gratitude for ’em and let the cycle continue!

3 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life this Year!

Ok, I have a confession. I failed at my New Years Resolution within the first THREE hours of the new year! I only mildly, vaguely, kinda sorta committed to the idea of being a vegetarian in 2014. So in the midst of champagne celebrations on New Years Eve, I was handed a chicken sandwich, and my resolution was out the door. It all just happened so fast…Oh well, there’s always next year! Alright, so resolutions shmesolutions. Nobody likes them, especially me. They don’t work. We end up giving up all together when we feel a little depressed about failing at them so quickly. Out with the resolutions, in with the GOALS!

3 steps to start living your dream lifeWhat does actually work is setting goals! Choosing a few clear, specific, and inspiring goals will change your year…and your entire life.

1. I need to lose this extra weight from the holidays (is soooo not inspiring to me. Blah. Ick. Get it away.) What actually may work?

2. I try out three new classes every week

or

3. My boyfriend and I cook a new vegetarian meal together every Friday. (Uhh…excuse me, but those goals actually sound pretty fun!)

We are going to make 2014 the BEST year–the year YOU start living YOUR dreams and having tons of FUN, starting NOW! If that sounds like something you want, sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week! I’m going to be delving a WHOLE lot more about goal setting, bucket lists, and dreams during my New Year’s Vision and Goals workshop during Hamptons Wellness Week! I hope you’ll join me then so we can get super clear, specific, and inspired for 2014!

But, why wait! Here are three simple steps to help you elevate this year to the next level of awesome:

1. Get crystal clear on what your dream year and dream life actually looks like. You can’t expect it to fall out of the sky, because even if it did–you wouldn’t recognize it if you don’t know what it is that you want! Take some time (like we’re talking 10 minutes) to sit down and make a list. Draw a picture. Create a vision board, or use Pinterest. Do some honest soul-searching. What does your ideal life, your ideal year, really look like? By ideal, I’m talking wildest dreams. Endless possibilities. Nothing is too crazy, too bold, too risky. It’s your year to start being honest with yourself and start living like you mean it.

Where do you dream of living? What do you daydream about doing for work? Do you want to travel? Where do you want to go? How do you take care of yourself? Do you wish you could run a marathon? Do you want to feel like you belong to a community? What does that look like to you? What do you want to do for fun? What is important to you? What do you value? What have you always wanted to try? Heck…what would you do if you won a million dollars tomorrow?

2.  Once you know exactly what it is you really want, you can start setting some inspiring goals for yourself! Goals give you a target, a clear, specific spot to set your aim towards and ultimately reach. Goal-setting sets your dreams into motion and gets your creative, subconscious brain moving in the right direction, YOUR direction. Your goals are 100% authentic to you and inspire you to take action. Brian Tracy (goal setting guru) says that “people with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” Sounds pretty awesome, right?

3. Finally, the BIGGEST thing you need to do to make 2014 your BEST year yet is to get into action now! Your dreams, goals, and visions for your life are so beautiful and so perfect. The only way the world will ever see your greatness is if you choose greatness today. Choose to show up for yoga class. Choose to read that book, write that book, or give away that book! Choose to eat your broccoli, kale, and green beans. Choose to spend time with the people who matter most to you. Choose to sign up for that race you’ve been putting off. All it takes is one teeny tiny small action a day to bring you closer to your wildest dreams. YOU are the one that’s going to take your year to the next level. So many adventures are waiting, so many melt-your-heart moments, and so many “hell yeah, I did that!” are just beyond these initial footsteps.

Can’t wait to see YOU soon to talk more about your goals and to set you up with an action plan for the year! Sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week THIS Sunday, January 12th, at Hamptons Coffee Experience Store (749 County Rd. 39A) Wellness Week participants are invited to goal coach with me on January 16th at lululemon athletica East Hampton. It’s going to be an awesome year!

One Healthy Breakdown: Commit to choosing your dream life, and you will have it, it’s that simple.