Every week I focus on three things I am grateful for. This has remained a staple feature of my blog since beginning almost a year-and-a-half ago. Whether I publish my list publicly, or write them down privately I find this really beneficial to my mental health.
But you don’t just need to take my word for how gratitude can improve your health. Psychology Today stated that ‘grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.’
It’s easy to see why. When we focus on the things that bring us happiness and contentment, we shift our focus from obsessing over the negative things that happen in our life.
1. Extra time to read
I love reading, but in my pre-coronavirus life I didn’t feel like I had enough time in the day to read as much as I’d have liked to. Being on furlough has given me the extra time to get lost in gripping novels, or to read books which inspire my mind.
This month I have read The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn and My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
I currently am reading a book by Amy Morin called 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, and in the first chapter, Morin states that people with mental strength ‘don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.’
After a detailed explanation of why self pity is such a destructive emotion, Morin explains that we should introduce simple habits in our life that will ‘increase feelings of gratitude.’ These include writing gratitude lists, and having discussions with others about what they feel grateful for.
When I read Morin’s explanation of why gratitude is important in our lives, it really clicked in my mind, because I find this habit so beneficial, so I’d urge anyone to give it a go.
If you have anymore book recommendations please leave them in the comments below.
2. PE with Joe
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Joe Wicks The Body Coach has totally transformed the way I view exercise. In my adult life I haven’t been very active. Luckily i have a quick metabolism so I haven’t really had to exercise much to stay fairly slim. But I knew that this wouldn’t last forever.
I have suffered with anxiety and depression for years and have been on various different medications. I honestly wish that years ago, instead of going on the medication; that PE with Joe existed because I feel like it’s improved my mental health more than any drug has been able to.
It seems obvious to say that exercise improves your mental health, but for me I’ve always found it hard to stick to an exercise routine, even though i knew it would be good for me.
For the last six weeks me and my boyfriend have been doing PE with Joe pretty much every morning. I’d be lying if I said I always felt enthusiastic about doing it because, lets me honest burpees feels like torture, but I always force myself to do them, and I always feel a thousand times better for doing them. The feeling of accomplishment I get from completing these workouts is immense.
Working out every morning has also given my days structure so I have something consistent in this scary ever-changing pandemic. I really recommend giving these exercises a try, from one self-confessed coach potato to another, I guarantee you’ll feel better for doing so.
3. My coffee machine
One of my small pleasures in life in my morning coffee, I absolutely love nursing a warm cappuccino whilst watching some TV, I make it last for over half an hour. It’s a consistent part of my days that I look forward to.
I have a Nespresso machine which makes nice frothy coffees, so I am very grateful that I have this magical machine during lockdown when all of my favourite coffee shops are closed.
Let me know what you are grateful for in the comments below!