reFORM Studios
Choose Stress or Choose Gratitude

You have a choice to make: Choose Stress or Choose Gratitude

I had an interesting conversation with a number of busy professionals last week at a local conference. We were discussing various way to improve their health and fitness, everything from quick bursts of exercise to better nutrition on the go. One woman brought up the fact that she has a lot of trouble falling asleep at night, and asked if I had any tips because she felt that her sleep habits were holding her back from reaching other fitness goals. This is actually a very common challenge for many of the personal training clients we work with, but one not often discussed.

Trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing about all the things you have to do or should do or worry about or stress about is a common problem, one I've personally dealt with as well. Rather than offer a number of ways to improve sleep or change your sleep habits, I suggested something different at the conference: changing your mindset.

My advice was simple- choose to think thoughts of gratitude, instead of continuing to think of stress. It's a fundamental truth that you cannot remain stressed when you are grateful, yet this is something we forget in daily practice. We're familiar with the ideas behind the Law of Attraction, that what we focus our thoughts and energy on is what we will manifest more of in our life, and yet we spend so much energy on stress and worry which only brings more stress and worry.

So how can you make the switch? First, you need to accept that you have the power to control the direction of your thoughts. You can absolutely cultivate a more positive and more grateful mindset, but it will require work. Thought patterns are just another habit than can be modified with practice. Sometimes all we need is a change of perspective. Instead of thinking about how far you are from your goals, think about how much closer you are today than you were yesterday, or last week, or last year. Thinking about the positive progress you've made instead of how much you still lack is a quick example of switching from a mindset of stress to one of gratitude. Appreciate how far you've come!

Another quick tip if you feel like your mind has a habit to turning to negative patterns and worry, especially before bed, is to implement a more active gratitude practice. Find a small journal or notepad, and instead of worrying and stressing endlessly about the future when you're getting ready for bed, take a few minutes to write down 3 things you are grateful for on this day. GratiRetude can be small items. Did you do something nice for someone? Did someone do something nice for you? Did you take action towards a goal or check a project off your to-do list? Did you have a few minutes to appreciate the sun or take a walk outside? Can you reflect on the positives in your relationships with friends or family? If we stop for a minute and appreciate all the things that are good, even on a crappy stressful day, the mindset shift that follows will be more relaxed, grateful, and help lower the stress levels you've been carrying around. You simply can't be stressed out if you are truly being grateful for all the positives in your life. I encourage you to give it a try- write down 3 things you are grateful for every day this week. By the end of the week you'll have 21 items to appreciate! And in a month, you'll have 630! Keep this up for a year, and you'll accumulate 1095 items to be grateful for. Can you imagine the effect this will have on keeping a positive mindset and not being so stressed?

Focus on the good, and you'll attract more good into your life. Gratitude is a powerful thing! Choose gratitude, not stress, and see what amazing changes you feel in 2015, above and beyond sleeping better!

Local to Charleston and interested in working with a coach who helps you focus on the positive? Request a free consultation to discuss a program with a reFORM Studios expert to make 2015 even more amazing!

reFORM Studios Personal Training, 1081-B East Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405  / 843-284-3340

reFORM Studios - Summerville, 195-D Farmington Rd, Summerville, SC 29483   / 843-900-6391

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