I am Thankful for… A Fit & Healthy Body

The first entry in this gratitude series focused on mental and emotional health. Here I will share my gratitude for physical health which I believe is a very significant part of our overall well-being. We sometimes overlook the mind and body connection, focusing on one or the other when trying to resolve problems. I know I did until I began to learn and discover how close this connection really is. A weak or sick body can have an influence on a person’s mood or motivation. A strong and fit body can positively affect self-confidence, mental vigor and focus. Physical healing can be affected by a person’s faith and determination. A negative attitude or perspective can sap a person’s strength and energy. Taking care of our bodies is a challenge as well as a privilege. Following I will share the many ways in which I am Thankful for…A Fit and Healthy Body.

1. I am thankful for this body I live in.
I once wrote an article in which I compared our bodies to an automobile. In it I said we would probably take much better care of our automobiles if we had just one in our lifetime. Another way I like to look at our bodies is as our home, where our soul and spirit reside. Looking at it this way makes it a very special place. We are a living, breathing temple. We have just one body in our lifetime. Caring for it is a big responsibility, and I want to do my best to keep it healthy and functioning optimally. I also want to appreciate my uniqueness. No one looks exactly like me. I may wish some things were different, but I am going to make the best of what I have. I am thankful that I can love and care for this body I live in.

2. I am thankful that I can improve my body.
There is so much we must do on a daily basis to take care of our bodies. We must provide our bodies with good nutrition at least 3 times a day so they have enough energy to function efficiently. Proper hygiene and grooming are also necessary to keep them clean and looking good. If we want to increase our endurance, strength, and improve how our bodies function, we must exercise. Caring for our bodies is a big responsibility as well as an opportunity to feel good and look better. It’s not always easy, however. It takes effort and persistence in exercising and changing our food intake before we begin to see some results. After gaining some weight over the winter, I was determined to get into better shape. I began a more vigorous exercise program and cut out desserts (except for dark chocolate). It wasn’t too long before I could fit into my favorite jeans again. I am thankful that there are things I can do to look better and improve my body. I do not have to accept unhealthy habits or sickness. I can do something about them. I can do my part to make my body function better and I will get good results.

3. I am thankful for our God-given senses.
Sometimes I will reflect on the simple blessings we are given in being able to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. I remember when I went to the eye doctor and got a new prescription. I didn’t think my vision changed very much until I put on my new contacts. All of a sudden, as I looked all around I became really excited. I kept saying, “I can see.” Everything was so clear. I didn’t know what I had been missing. I was so thankful to see the outline of the clouds in the sky, the detail in the buildings ahead, and the clarity of colors everywhere. I am very thankful for clear vision. When I enjoy the taste and aroma of delicious foods, I am thankful for the senses that enable me to have this pleasurable experience. A sinus infection that kept me congested for weeks made it very difficult for me to smell or taste much of anything. I sure was thankful when it cleared up, and I was thankful for the little blessings I often take for granted. I am often reminded of the many reasons to be thankful for our hearing. I love music and spend a great deal of time playing and listening to it. I am also thankful for touch. Our bodies can experience all kinds of enjoyable physical sensations. As I think about all the amazing and beautiful things we can enjoy because of our senses, I am so thankful.

4. I am thankful for hands and feet .
Our hands and feet represent where we go and what we do. When my mother began to have problems with her knees, her ability to go where she wanted and needed to go was significantly hindered. She couldn’t walk for very long before she would have pain and discomfort in her legs. Her experience always reminds me to be thankful. I love to go for long walks and I enjoy walking, climbing, and exercising that require healthy legs, knees and feet. I am also thankful for the many things I can do well with my hands like play my guitar and work on the computer. A musician friend of mine has problems with arthritis in his hands that limit how long he can play. He is thankful for the ability to still play and he does not let it stop him. Fortunately, he has found some natural remedies that are helpful and keep his hands working. With our hands and feet, we work and serve others. We dance, jump, and play. I take the time right now to give thanks that I am able to work and serve, enjoy life, and go where I need to go and do what I need to do.

5. I am thankful for smiles and laughter
I truly believe the words of this quote: There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. ~Lady Marguerite Blessington. A bright and happy smile on a person’s face is so beautiful. I think people look their very best when they have inner peace and joy. It shines through their eyes and smile. One of the best ways to bring a smile to our faces is through laughter. I am so thankful that laughter is an inborn trait we all have. I believe we ought to laugh more often. This nonverbal form of communication creates a positive energy and is highly contagious! Laughter is not only good for our mental health; it is also good for our bodies. I heard a doctor describe it as “internal jogging” and a great way to relax our muscles, lower our blood pressure, and release endorphins. I am thankful for the gift of laughter. I can laugh at myself more often and not take life too seriously. There are many things that can make me laugh and smile. I make it a point to smile at people. I like the way I feel when people smile at me. I am thankful that I can express warmth, love, and joy when I smile and laugh.

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved. Written by Krystal Kuehn. NewDayCounseling.org & BeHappy4Life.com

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher & musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family counseling , couples counseling & child therapy center and BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, self-help and inspirational site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights & inspiration.