Good morning friends! I’m loving this quote that I stumbled upon this morning via Instagram browsing. It’s a great reminder of why I love mornings and why I love Mondays. I encourage you to take this new week as a fresh opportunity to make your dreams come true and to be happy! Remember, YOU hold the power 🙂
As you know, this month is all about gratitude = the quality of being thankful. I’m so grateful to wake up everyday and do something that I love: share fitness & healthy living with people I care about = YOU! I’m also grateful for the opportunity to share my fitness business start up story with SELF Magazine. Woo ho0 – check out my article on self.com!
I’ve found that practicing acts of gratitude makes me a happier person. In fact, studies from University of California Berkeley show that grateful people are less resentful, more optimistic and healthier than their ungrateful counterparts. Also, physically expressing gratitude generates a greater happiness return than simply feeling appreciation. So just in time for Thanksgiving, here are five acts of gratitude to ensure you have the happiest holiday!
- Savor the Small Stuff – Whether it’s your morning cup of coffee or hot shower after a long day, take a moment to be present and acknowledge your little luxury.
- Say Thank You – Actually pick up phone, call someone and tell him or her how much they mean to you. Not only with they feel wonderful, but you will too.
- Love Your Body – Go for a sweat session at your favorite fitness studio. Afterwards thank your body for its physical fitness.
- Be One With Nature – Step outside and look around. Appreciating nature’s beauty can quickly lift your spirits.
- Acknowledge Your Accomplishments – Make a list of three personal accomplishments and thank yourself for your dedication and commitment. We often express gratitude to others, but it’s equally important to appreciate ourselves.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to not only feel thankful but to also express your gratitude!
Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo, Brit
I’ve been getting over a cold the past few weeks which had me feeling pretty groggy. Thank God I don’t sick very often, but when I do I recognize a pattern of lifestyle changes that largely contribute to my lack of health. For instance, I get sick when I overindulge, get stressed out or spend minimal time doing activities that energize me (like teaching fitness classes). I saw this quote and loved it because it rings so true to my personal health. Of course I added some “GRIT by Brit flare” and elaborated on each point with my colorful commentary. I hope these words of wisdom keep you healthy today, tomorrow and forevermore! xoxo, Brit
1. Eat Lightly
Eating well and eating lightly are two different things. I have several friends, including me, who overeat because we are eating “healthy” foods. This is not a good look. Hopefully you read the guest post I featured on Intuitive Eating. If not, go check it out. Bottom line is that overeating may cause temporary satisfaction but it ultimately leads to sickness, obesity and even depression.
2. Breathe Deeply
Breathing deeply requires to us to tap in to our diaphragm and “fill up our bellies” with air. I learned the technique and value of breathing deeply through my yoga practice. I find that deep breaths calm my nerves and help me process my thoughts. “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.” (Source: Harvard Medical School)
3. Live Moderately
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. As much as I love to travel and socialize, I have to be mindful of getting burnt out. The same goes for sipping wine, shopping, investing in relationships, etc. Every few weeks it’s a good idea for me stay in, not make any plans for the weekend and just chill on my couch with a few good books. To ensure good health, we must be mindful of aiming for moderation in all aspects of life – even the good stuff.
4. Cultivate Cheerfulness
Nothing brings about sickness more than sadness. Go out of your way to be cheerful. For me, the trick is to never allow myself to get really down in the dumps. I mean, obviously life brings about some serious challenges and it’s healthy to grieve. However, I believe in the laws of Physics. A body in motion, stays in motion. A mind that starts cultivating negative thoughts continues to cultivate negative thoughts. It takes a TON of energy to perform a 180 degree turn. It’s a lot easier to move forward in the direction you are already headed. So make a conscious effort to cultivate cheerfulness even during tough times – Fake it till you make it!
5. Maintain An Interest In Life
I find that my interest in life diminishes when I’m feeling hopeless. To me, being hopeful about life and being interested in life go hand in hand. Life is crazy complex but it always works out for the good. So stay hopeful. Be interested in helping others, observing beauty and seeking the happy ending. This curiosity will initiate a personal vitality and internal energy to help ensure good health.
Hope your week is off a to a great start – mine certainly is. Last week was quite hectic for me. I had to travel to both Memphis and Salt Lake City for work. When the weekend came I was completely exhausted. Needless to say, I did not feel like the hitting the gym on Saturday nor doing anything that required even the slightest bit of energy. Fortunately, the thought of hanging out with my “fit friends” was enough motivation to keep me from skipping my Saturday morning workout. Afterwards not only did my body feel better, but I was less stressed and had a more positive attitude overall. It was like magic – lots of good vibes and positive energy. That’s the beauty of exercise, it’s great for the mind, body and soul. Activity generates the energy that brings about good vibes. Good things come to those who sweat!
On that note, here’s some fitspiration to get your sweat on – 20 Minute Calorie Blaster treadmill workout from the GRIT by Brit archives. You can check out the original blog post for detailed instructions. I highly encourage you to give this bad boy a whirl some time this week. I am.
And finally, check out these 13 Mental Health Benefits of exercise. On the list, Stress Relief ranks #1. I can attest to the accuracy of this claim. Just for fun, here’s a pic of me and my girlfriends on Saturday night enjoying the residual good vibes from my morning workout.
Wishing you a wonderful week with lots of sweat and good things! xoxo, Brit
Hey gang – it’s almost Turkey Day! I know many of you are probably getting Instagram and Facebook overload from your friends sharing their “30 Days of Thanks” or whatever it’s called. While I’m sure it can be annoying, don’t “hate” too much. Turns out, drinking the gratitude Kool-Aid can do us good.
Let me digress for a bit. We’ll come back full circle. I promise.
While growing up in Texas I attended a small, Southern Baptist church and we had this ritual of giving “praise reports” during every service. At this time, members of the congregation would stand up and share something good that had happened during the week (i.e. a promotion at work, healing from a sickness, winning a big game, an exciting family vacation, etc.). We always did “praise reports” before sharing “prayer requests.” Prayer requests are unfortunate situations in which people needed prayer, support or encouragement. I always wondered why we had this practice of first giving praise before we prayed about a problem. Over the weekend, a friend shared this video with me (below). While watching it, “praise reports” started to make more sense…
“The Science of Happiness,” suggests that the simple of act sharing gratitude (aka sharing praise reports) is therapeutic in itself. Being grateful and expressing gratitude can actually give us the strength and perspective that we need to make it through tough times. In short, gratitude gives us GRIT. Gratitude makes us happier.
In true GRIT by Brit fashion, I also thought to myself, “Maybe expressing gratitude for 2 good arms, 2 good legs and a heart and lungs that work can be the extra push I need on days I don’t feel like working out?” haha – we shall see.
Watch this video from SoulPancake if you want to feel good, get in the Thanksgiving spirit and maybe even tear up a bit 🙂
“Praise [gratitude] works best at the start, before the miracle, before the breakthrough, before the restoration.” – Brian Houston
New research suggests that having a general sense of well-being, feeling energetic and cheerful, relaxed and happy with life may actually reduce the chances of having a heart attack. (Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263175.php)
“If you are by nature a cheerful person and look on the bright side of things, you are more likely to be protected from cardiac events,” – Lisa R. Yanek, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
CHOOSE TO BE CHEERFUL TODAY!
Happiest Thursday to you! I saw this quote on Twitter, “We can always quit, why start now?” It made me take a step back and reflect on decisions I’m currently facing in my own life. I gotta be honest….I’m TIRED. Work is demanding. Traveling is draining. In addition to that, the effort it takes to plan my workouts, blog, volunteer and consciously spend time with the people I love, leaves me with very little in my “Energy Budget” at the end of each day. BUT I’m happy to say that even though it seems like I’m “running on empty” at least I’m still running. And that, my friends, is a blessing!
So, I write this blog post for both selfish and selfless reasons:
- I hope it motivates you to keep pushing
- I needed to give myself a pep talk 🙂
Have a wonderful day – you got this!
Lots of luv,