Negativity is around us. Angry anchors on TV, road rage, bullying leaders…The list is endless. Everybody seems to be better than us. Commercials with photo-shopped bodies, ads of people losing 70 kilos at the snap of a finger, people running faster without much effort…the list is endless here too.
Our memories of the good things we have achieved, of the great things we have experienced and the good things we have, are either faded or getting faded. No wonder, we see people feeling depressed, without motivation and losing the mental grit to take on a challenging task.
Are we born with mental grit?
Can we do something about our mental grit?
How do we rebuild the mental grit or toughness under these circumstances?
Well, everyone has mental grit. The degree varies. Somebody is mentally tough overall and can manage stress across multiple domains of life – family, work, physical training, good nutrition habits, etc. Some are mentally tougher in some domains of life but may not be that strong on other domains. For example, someone may be able to handle work-related stress but will walk out of family stressors. Someone may handle most stressors but will buckle at the sight of great food. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we took daily steps to enhance the mental grit that we have in specific domains and overall?
To enhance mental grit, there has to be a belief that we have the capabilities or resources to handle obstacles. You would definitely want to strengthen those beliefs, won’t you?
One simple way to enhance those beliefs is to count our blessings. Being grateful for things that you have or possess, like a nice home or good health, brings to attention the resources that you have to live a wonderful life. Being grateful for performing a challenging task highlights your capabilities to take on bigger tasks. Being grateful for something greater than you, like the concept of God looking over you or you enjoying a wonderful walk just brings positivity and hope.
Writing these blessings on a piece of paper or typing it on our computer or smartphone, makes the feeling stronger as the words we choose to remain in our memory and enhances the feelings.
We can simply write: I am grateful for __________.
a. I am grateful for the walk that I had with my spouse on the beach.
b. I am grateful for being able to get up from the bed and do my workout.
c. I am grateful for my friends who took great efforts to celebrate my birthday.
However, we don’t want to write gratitude just for the sake of writing. We would like these blessings to mean something to us, something that makes us truly believe in what we write, won’t we?
To make the blessings more meaningful, add another phase that tells us why it is meaningful. To do that, just add ‘because____’.
Now we can write: I am grateful for ___________because __________.
a. I am grateful for the walk that I had with my spouse on the beach because we spent
some really great quality time being with each other after a long time. (He/She loves
me yeah, yeah, yeah)
b. I am grateful for being able to get up from the bed and do my work-out because initially I
did not want to do it but I did it anyway. (I am freaking awesome).
c. I am grateful for my friends who took great efforts to celebrate my birthday because it
shows that I am loved. (Love is all I need)
Just the addition of ‘because’ gives you a reason to believe that you have blessings, resources or capabilities to lead a better life, take on challenges and surmount obstacles. In short, it will help you build mental grit.
However, don’t push this idea of writing the gratitude journal every day. We don’t want to be pushed to do things, would we? We would rather let the feelings come inside of us. So, you
don’t have to write Gratitude journal every day. Just once or twice is good enough.
Also, you don’t have to write 10 things to be grateful for. You can start with one and stop at 3. Pat yourself on the back if you have even a single thing to be grateful for. Forcing yourself to write 10 things and not being able to find anything after 5 th or 6 th may make you sad that you don’t have things to be grateful about.
The days you don’t write your gratitude journals, you can visualize and verbalize your blessings. The days you don’t have time or enthusiasm to write a gratitude journal, you can just sit in a quiet place and go through the activities of the day or the day before and see what you are grateful for.
I get up early in the morning, brew a cup of tea or black coffee and sit down sipping it. While
sipping, I close my eyes and visualize the previous day from morning till night. Picking up the
things I am grateful for and I verbalize why I am grateful for those things. This primes me to work on things that I have today and also build up my confidence level to take on new challenges.
Ok, we have talked a lot about gratitude journal. But how will it help in fat loss?
Fat loss involves managing lot of variables in your life – food, exercise, stress, family, etc. Some people start off on a grand scale and then fizzle out during a fat loss program. Being grateful for the ability to take on the challenges of fat loss program yesterday will boost your confidence for today. This confidence will help you navigate today. Once you navigate today, you can navigate tomorrow. Small success leads to bigger success. Once you win in your mind you can win on the turf.
1. Be grateful
2. Write why you are grateful
3. Write only 3 items max that you are grateful for
4. Do it once or twice a week. Other days, you can visualize and mentally verbalize
Pic-Credit: energyforlife.us, keylargoyoga.com