Saturday, November 17, 2012

Every Walk A Thanks Giving Walk

    In this season of Thanksgiving preparations, you may be planning to add an extra walk to the holiday menu to keep a balance of calories in and out. It’s a great idea for the waistline, but also an opportunity to make Thanks Giving a daily exercise that strengthens health and well-being.

    An attitude of gratitude, it turns out, correlates significantly with health and well-being. People who make a weekly list of five things they’ve appreciated each week exercise more regularly and feel better about their lives, report psychologists Roger Emmons and Michael McCullough. People who keep gratitude lists are more likely to make progress toward important goals.

    So, why wait for a weekly list? It’s easy to make Thanks Giving a daily practice by including gratitude in every exercise walk.

Gratitude Changes the Journey

     If you walk in the morning, take a few minutes as you start to bring to mind three things that made you feel good the day before:
·               An email from a friend
·               A hummingbird at the garden feeder
·               A hug from your child
    Block out to-do lists for the day ahead by putting your focus on appreciation for a few minutes.

     If you walk later in the day, devote a little time to being aware of things that you are grateful for, right now. Or something earlier in the day that brought a smile:
·               The fragance of a wood fire
·               The comfort of good walking shoes
·               A word of praise from a co-worker

 Focus on Assets For a Healthy Change

    So much of the time, life bombards us with reminders of what we don’t have—enough time, enough money, the right job, the right car, the best cell phone, the whitest teeth, and on and on. Rarely are we encouraged to focus on the assets we have. Thanks Giving helps us to shift the focus. 

    Grateful people don’t deny or ignore the negative aspects of life, but they balance the pain a bit by recognizing what’s positive, as well. By seeking things you can appreciate as you walk, you make a profound shift in awareness that enhances health and wellbeing.

    Give it a try! Look for three things you appreciate on every time you take a walk. Fortify the practice by adding a gratitude note to your daily walking log. Keeping a log helps sustain a habit of exercise and appreciation. Get started by downloading a walking log at 

     Stay connected to A Spirited Life by signing up, above right, for email notices of each new blog post. Get more ideas for adding mindfulness to your walks at Take A Walk

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