My life has had it's ups and downs, as I'm sure yours has. My relationship with food has also been something to be reckoned with but time and time again there has been one practice that has always changed things. Every single time.
“It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re feeling blessed” Dr. Libby
We all know the effects of stress on our bodies when it comes to achieving our health goals. Stress will make these goals even harder to achieve and may even set you back - and that alone is stressful! There are several simple things that you can do on a daily basis to help ease stress and practicing gratitude is one of them.
Keeping a gratitude journal to jot down brief reflections on moments or things we’re thankful for has been shown time and time again to significantly increase well-being and overall satisfaction with life. And we should know by now that the more satisfied we are with our lives, the less power food will have over us.
Gratitude has even been shown to help us physically. It can help us to sleep better at night, strengthen our immune system and even encourage more positive behaviours such as exercising and taking better care of our health overall (Robert Emmons, the University of California & Michael McCullough, Professor of Psychology, University of Miami)
Gratitude works best when it’s sincere, specific and real. By observing the small things through your day that make you grateful, the more inclined you are to notice more and more reasons to be grateful. It doesn't have to be "Today I am grateful for..." It can also be remembering what went well or what made you smile.
When it comes to eating, practicing gratitude as part of your eating ritual can do wonders for your health and your relationship with food.
Imagine two different scenarios. In scenario 1 you see the cake, wolf it down, feel guilt and shame about it and then continue to eat more cake because you’ve already ‘blown it’.
Now, imagine scenario 2. You see the cake. You take a piece and sit down. You say a silent “thank you” before you have your first bite. You appreciate the flavours, the textures and everything in between. You’re grateful for this delicious slice of heaven and savour each and every bite. You are thankful for the experience and move on.
Which of the two scenarios do YOU think has a more positive effect on our body and efforts? Negative emotions around food can lead to binging and over eating so ditch the guilt and embrace the gratitude. It’ll taste much better too!
We're so lucky here in New Zealand to have the most beautiful gratitude journals available to us from Awesome Inc. Check them out!