The Science of Gratitude

When it comes to health and fitness, it can be easy to forget what the greater purpose is behind all the exercise, dieting, and recovery that we do to look and feel our best.

In the end, we all just want to be happy and these are all tools we can use to help us to get the most out of life. But the funny thing is, happiness is actually much simpler than we tend to make it.

You might hear people say (or have said yourself), "If I could just lose 10 lbs." or "When I fit back into those jeans, then..." or "Once I can hike up that mountain".

These are all rooted in the idea that you need to do something, and then you will feel good about things. But the truth is, health and fitness usually are the result of already being happy, not the other way around.

Happy, then Healthy

This probably makes sense once you stop and think about it. What is the number one reason for being being unhealthy? Stress.

When you are stressed, you eat worse, you don't work out, you overindulge, and you don't sleep as well. It is so much easier to take care of yourself when you are already in a good place mentally.

So, if you have to get happy before you can get healthy, what should to do?

Luckily, science has shown us that being happy is actually very simple. You don't have to change anything about your life and you can start today.

All you have to do is be grateful for what is. This works for two reasons:

  1. To be grateful for what you have, you have to first accept how things are. So much stress we put on ourselves is because we are fighting a battle with reality. A battle that we cannot and will not ever win. As soon as you let go of how you "think things should be" and accept what is, you don't have to worry about it any more and you can start focusing on all the good things you have in your life.
  2. Once you are grateful for what you have, you stop the incessant wanting that we all experience. If everything is great, why would you want anything else? It's a self-reinforcing system. The more grateful you are, the less you want, and the less you want, the more joy you get out of what you have.

So, if you really want to make health and fitness a priority in your life, start by making gratitude a daily focus. To help kick start things for you, check out this video that talks about the science of gratitude and how the presenter incorporates gratitude into her own life.

Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.