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Losing Weight With Gratitude

Losing Weight With Gratitude

    Whenever we think about losing weight, a deliberate practice of gratitude is definitely not at the top of our action plan. In fact, with our national obsession about calories and exercise, the notion about being grateful as a weight loss strategy might even sound ridiculous. Besides, you might think you don’t have much to be grateful for, anyway – especially when it comes to your body. But investing a few minutes each day in simply indulging in warm feelings of appreciation will definitely pay off, and here’s why.

    Complaining Leads To ‘Cheating’

    What we focus in on one aspect of our lives, we can get consumed by that small part of ourselves. If you spend your day thinking about how fat you are, how much you hate yourself and how deprived you feel by your current diet, then you will amplify those miserable feelings. Complaining will inevitably create even more circumstances to resist and despise.

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    When that moment of temptation comes – and it always does – it will be harder to resist the afternoon pastries and soft drinks because, after all, you’re having a really tough day. You deserve a reward and what could be more welcome than a rich and sugary treat?

    On the other hand, if you’ve deliberately noticed how many blessings are in your life right now, even before you’ve reached your perfect weight, you will feel less sorry for yourself and be more inclined to feel peaceful and happy. Feelings of serenity and quiet joy make it easier to brew a cup of tea rather than guzzle a high-calorie chocolate shake and a couple of cookies.

    Gratitude Causes Confidence

    When you’re grateful, you feel more confident. How can you not feel more confident about yourself when you’re focused on all the wonders in your life?

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    One of the enemies of serious efforts to make changes in our bodies is a feeling of discouragement, especially when we hit the dreaded “plateau” when nothing much seems to be happening. There is always an initial weight loss – and there is always a time when our body stops dropping weight so that it can adjust to new realities before it resumes the weight loss.

    This is an extremely dangerous time and it’s easy to say, “What’s the use?” and return to the habits that made us fat. If we feel grateful and confident it’s much easier to remain peaceful and to stick to our weight loss plan.

    A Grateful Person Is A Powerful Person

    Gratitude helps us to feel more powerful. When we notice how ‘right’ our life circumstances are, we feel more in control and less like a helpless victim.

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    “What Do I Possibly Have To Feel Grateful About?”

    You might wonder what in the world you can possibly find to be grateful about. But the truth is that your world is full of blessings, whether you notice them or not. Bottom line: ingratitude is a habit and any habit can be changed. Here’s a question to consider:

    “If I wanted to be grateful about something, what would it be?”

    Begin with the very body that you want so desperately to change:

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    * If you wanted to, could you notice that you have a beautiful complexion?
    * If you wanted to, could you be aware that you have very thick hair that many people would love to have?
    * If you wanted to, could you be appreciative of your heart, your lungs, your liver, your kidneys and all the other organs that work so tirelessly to keep you alive?
    * If you wanted to, could you be grateful for your hands that perform so many necessary tasks?
    * If you wanted to, could you notice that you haven’t been sick in the last year?
    * If you wanted to, could you be grateful for your excellent hearing and vision?

    Five Minutes Every Once In A While Is A Useless Weight Loss Strategy

    A two minute “gratitude session” today is great, but it’s consistent effort that will pay huge dividends. There is nothing unpleasant about feeling grateful – in fact, it’s just the opposite. So find a way to remind yourself to spend a few minutes every day simply noticing the countless blessings in your life.

    The “Secret Sauce” For Gratitude Power

    Here is the most powerful ‘secret’ in harnessing gratitude power for weight loss: you absolutely MUST make your gratitude emotional, rather than rational. When brave Christopher Reeves was alive, I felt extremely grateful for my healthy legs and spine that could carry me wherever I wanted to go, rather than being paralyzed as he was. No matter how unattractive you may feel, there are always many people who are worse off than you. All you need to do is notice and feel genuine appreciation for how fortunate you are.

    So, yes, carefully read some diet reviews and choose an exercise plan that works for you. But don’t neglect an experiment in gratitude and discover for yourself that this simple practice will empower your weight loss efforts much more than attention to food and exercise alone can ever do.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

    1. Understand Yourself Better

    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

    3. Become Aware of What Matters

    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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    4. Boost Creativity

    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

    6. Process Life Experiences

    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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    7. Stress Relief

    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

    8. Provide Direction

    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

    9. Solve Problems

    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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    10. Find Relief From Fighting

    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

    11. Find Meaning in Life

    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

    14. Let the Past Go

    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

    15. Allow Freedom

    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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    16. Enhance Your Career

    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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