Does Mindfulness Lead to Thankfulness? La Jolla Sports Club does some digging!
How many times a day do you say ‘thanks’ without actually thinking about it? (Hopefully) it’s a very routine thing to appreciate when someone opens the door for you at Brick & Bell, stops the car so you can cross the street to La Jolla Sports Club or picks up something you dropped down at Windansea. It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction at this point in our lives, but when is the last time you actually, really, truly thought about that thank you?
You’ll be hearing a lot about being thankful and expressing thankfulness this time of year, which we fully subscribe to. But what about November makes it different from April 23rd? Maybe it’s because we’re feeling nice and cozy in our winter coats, which then makes us warm and fuzzy on the outside? Santa is on the way, so we’re hedging our bets? Things are a little less crazy at work as things start to settle down for 2019? Whatever it may be, we’re all for it here at La Jolla Sports Club, but after digging into research for this post, we’ve decided to make it more of a daily occurrence.
Gratitude is good for your health
It may sound a bit New Age’y, but Science(!) has found that expressing gratitude is beneficial for your health. From improved sleep to lowered blood pressure to stronger immune systems and improved relationships to the mental benefits of increased motivation and enthusiasm and decreased loneliness and anger, gratitude just might be the cure you didn’t know you needed.
When someone does something small like hold that door for you or something bigger like picking you up from the dentist, pause and really think about why you’re grateful for that action and let them know. The absentminded, throw-away ‘thanks’ won’t suffice, you gotta go a little bit deeper in the moment. Journaling both in the morning and before bed has also been proven to be a great tool for developing sincere gratitude and grounding you as a thankful human.
Imagine if everyone reading this article right now practiced mindful gratitude towards the next person they interacted with. That little interaction could then improve that person’s day and ripple out from there… just one little comment.
GRRRRRRAAAGGGHHHHHHHH being in the moment is hard!
Uh, yeah, we know. Being present is hard. Right this second, life is pulling you in 1,000,000 different directions, but achieving that present state of mind is what the idea of ‘mindfulness’ is all about. Being nonjudgmentally aware is like any skill you’ve ever learned, the more you practice, the better you get.
La Jolla Sports Club now offers Mindfulness Meditation Mondays at 11am. You also have Yoga, Meditation and Pilates included in your membership, all of which are great options to help anchor you into the present. If you can’t get to one of our classes, online apps like Headspace and The Mindfulness App are great starters. And as we stated above, hand-written journaling is a great way to understand your thoughts and ground you in your thinking.
Humans are phenomenal at creating bubbles, both good and bad. Mindfulness helps clear the clutter and objectively view Life for what it is: Ups and downs, excitements and boredom. Being present and grounded helps establish an awareness of reality that sometimes slips away when we are inevitably worried about the next project, trip, appointment or notification.
Bringing this all around is the idea that when we are truly present and mindful, we start to appreciate what’s around us (see: gratitude). The more we appreciation we experience, the more grateful we become. Mindful -> Thankful -> Mindful, repeat.
// Your friends at La Jolla Sports Club