Gratitude Journaling for the Health of It

    Mari L. McCarthy January 22, 2013

    gratitude journaling“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone,” says the classic Joni Mitchell song. This sentiment couldn’t be more true than when you apply it to your physical health.

    Think about your past experiences with injury or illness. You never seem to appreciate the simple, routine actions until they become challenges; you may take for granted being able to stand up to walk into the kitchen until you throw out your back or having the freedom to order whatever you want on the menu until you develop diet-related health problems. Take a few minutes today to reflect on what you are thankful for about your health and record your moments of gratitude in your personal journal.

    Make Time for Gratitude Journaling

    1. Take a minute to check in with your body. Relax your breathing, stretch your muscles and listen to what your body is telling you. How do you feel today? Warm up by writing a quick check-up in your journal.

    2. Think about the physical activities you do each day. How does your body help you do what you need to do and want to do on a daily basis? Spend five minutes free-writing about everything that comes to mind, from the simple actions (walking up the stairs to your office, washing the dinner dishes, pulling weeds in the garden) to the major feats (running on the treadmill at the gym, dancing at your cousin’s wedding, going on Sunday afternoon bike rides).

    3. Use your brainstorm to write a short statement of gratitude for your health in your personal journal. Be sincere, specific and timely -- this message should represent why you feel thankful today. For example:

    Today I am grateful that I could take my dog for an early morning walk and stretch my legs before a long day at work. I’m grateful that I have a healthy heart, strong lungs and limbs that still mostly do what I want them to do. I’m grateful to be able to touch my toes (well, almost), cook my family a good meal and rearrange the living room furniture.

    What are you most thankful for when it comes to your health? Share your gratitude journaling musings in the comments!

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