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Gratitude. It’s the daily, sometimes minute-by-minute, discipline of being appreciative in the present. Regardless of the outcome, prognosis, end-result or payoff. True gratitude isn’t situational. True gratitude doesn’t rely on circumstances or individuals. True gratitude isn’t an action, but rather a mindset. Mindset is a buzz word lately. You hear this word in relation to parenting advice, health and wellness solutions or relationship building – it’s all about mindset. It is similar in definition to character, way of life, atmosphere of mind or ethos. It’s also a bit confusing. Especially for those of us who like rules. Mindset doesn’t follow the “rules”. In fact, it is not a final destination where a certain protocol needs to be adhered to in order to arrive. It’s not as if, after you follow these ten steps you will have achieved a healthier mindset. Instead, think of it as a motivator, a catalyst, or a frame of reference from which to view your circumstances.

This is where gratitude comes in. If you consider the things you are thankful for first – in every new environment, situation, set of circumstances, relationship, season of life or goal set – you will have a healthier mindset. Intentionally pointing out that which you are appreciative of helps to foster a healthy mindset. One that is not easily angered. One that does not keep a record of wrongs. One that always hopes, trusts and perseveres. One that is kind and open, not defensive and bitter. One that seeks peace instead of stirs up conflict. One that is not self-seeking, instead others-focused. One that seeks to bridge gaps instead of build fences. Being led by gratitude produces a mindset that allows love to be manifested in action and sounds an awful lot like the love defined in the Bible. (

If you recall, we had a blessings board in the Wellness Center during the month of October. We talked about how having a healthy mindset is integral to living a healthy lifestyle. We also explained how one of the easiest ways to cultivate a healthy mindset is by identifying what you are grateful for.

And you all showed up – BIG TIME! Here are just a few of the blessings you stapled to the board:

-New granddaughter
-To be alive
-God's grace
-Good health
-My husband
-Jesus Christ my Savior
-Amazing Y instructors who push my abilities to the next level
-Clear blue skies
-Lean Ladies Lift Group
-My dad
-Eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to love, legs and arms that move
-Samaritan's purse - disaster volunteers
-My 4 kids
-For clean water
-Strong legs
-Mary - who is always encouraging and helpful
-My parents
-My school
-A rainy day 
-Friends to go through life's up and downs with
-My car
-My cousin and her wife
-My job
-God's healing
-The Y
-Collective coffee
-Baby #3 on the way

I encourage you to keep it up! Emphasize that which you consider a blessing in your life. Seek to intentionally demonstrate gratitude for all of the things, people and experiences you may be tempted to take for granted and pretty soon you’ll find you are living healthier.   

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