The Importance of Gratitude
Regardless of where you are in life, or where you are in your recovery, you’ve probably heard of the importance of gratitude.
If you’re really struggling with binge eating and/or issues with food and weight, it’s possible that there are moments when gratitude feels out of reach.
If only I had “that body”, or “that relationship with food”, or “I could stop binge eating”, then I’d have something to be grateful for.
It’s common to think that if we wait for “x” thing to happen then, practicing gratitude will feel more tangible. The reality however, is that there’s an inverse relationship at play here.
If you start spending time to tone your gratitude muscle, you’ll find more and more things for which to be grateful. Oprah says it best when she says, “be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have you will never, ever have enough.”
If you’re struggling with the “how to’s” of implementing gratitude, take note of American journalist and author of Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, A.J. Jacobs. He offers some foolproof advice for how to get more gratitude going in your life ASAP!
Jacobs evokes this idea that many of us focus our energy on what’s going wrong, when we really need to shift our focus on what’s going right. For example, instead of saying “ I can’t even breathe, this train is so packed”, try, “wow, I’m happy I made the train, the next one wasn’t coming for twenty minutes!”
Remember the brevity of your time here. It’s easy to be grateful when you get a raise, but what about the fact that you woke up and got out of bed this morning? These are the parts of our lives that we often take for granted.
Jacobs also speaks of the art of savoring a moment.
Gratitude is a practice and will take time to cultivate. Therefore, it’s important to savor the small incremental moments that collectively make up our lives. Try stretching the meaningful moments and experiences of your life, making them last as long as you can, taking in each thing and truly savoring the moment!
Ultimately, the goal is to try to use gratitude as a spark to action. And hey, sometimes we have to fake it till we feel it. It’s easier to act your way to a new way of thinking than to think your way to a new way of acting!