January is a time when we make resolutions, or if you read my column, set intentions. Have you ever wondered why things get so lively when a new year begins? We understand that a new year suggests new beginnings, opportunities, and habits.
One of the things most of us are working on is weight loss, improving our health and fitness, or a modern diet or eating program, be it paleo, vegan, gluten-free, or some other version of these. Interestingly, when it comes to nutrition, we usually consider the physical nutrients we consume. We don’t consider what kind of nourishment we need emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I am trying to propose a reframing of the word diet. It’s something you need to think beyond parameters like calories consumed, fat and carbohydrate content, and the Canadian Food Guide.
Introduction to grace diet, a program designed to refuel your spirit, increase your emotional resilience, and free you from the challenges of living in this chaotic world. The GRACE Diet was developed as part of the ME FIRST playbook published in 2011. This was important then, perhaps even more so today.
GRACE diet: Over the next five months, we’ll be introducing you to the different components of the GRACE Diet. That way, you can consider each element, practice it, and incorporate it into your life until it becomes a habit. As an introduction to what’s to come, here’s an overview of the individual components.
G.= feeling of gratitude
thanksFour days ago, I found myself listening to an interview with Oprah Winfrey commemorating her 70th birthday and her entrance into the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. She was raised by her grandmother from rural Mississippi and eventually moved to Chicago, and her rise to fame during her 25 years as host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, actor, producer, etc. I followed etc. The question that is raised, of course, is how someone raised in poverty and the “racialized South” can climb to such heights. Her overall answer was gratitude. To quote Oprah, “Gratitude is my spiritual practice.”. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you say to yourself and your higher power is “Thank you,” and the last thing you say before you go to bed at night is “Thank you.”
As a facilitator/coach, I have been teaching gratitude and its benefits for over 20 years. What I liked about Oprah’s synthesis was its simplicity.Gratitude is a spiritual practice. Indeed, you can say that success is not so simple, and you would be right. I can attest to the effect gratitude has had on my life, and it’s something I’ve been practicing for over 25 years. Before we continue, let me share some of the science behind gratitude.
science of gratitude Gratitude provides us with a way to accept all that makes our lives the way they are. Gratitude involves a willingness to expand one’s attention to be more aware of the blessings one has always received, beyond simply feeling happy about what is currently going well in one’s life.. (Misty Pratt, February 2022)
Over the past two decades, a growing body of evidence in the social sciences has found that gratitude has measurable benefits in nearly every area of our lives. Gratitude appears to contribute significantly to personal well-being and physical health, and is said to be the key to the “social glue” for building and nurturing strong relationships.
Gratitude is more than just a temporary good feeling. Scientists who have studied written gratitude interventions, such as gratitude letters and journals, have found benefits to individuals’ mental health and well-being. Practicing gratitude appears to increase life satisfaction and boost self-esteem.
Make gratitude a daily habitIt’s still amazing to me that such a simple tool can improve your quality of life.After reading simple richness By Sarah Bon Bresnach In the mid-90s, I began my gratitude journey by keeping a daily journal and listing five or more things I was grateful for each day. This was a challenge at first. I had recently retired from the medical profession and had just started my own business, which was an unknown landscape for me, with many pitfalls and problems, and I was constantly worried about how my new life would unfold. Ta. I was also very critical of myself and the way I approached business.Then the wake-up call, the challenges from simple richness Keep a gratitude journal for the next 30 days. From that day on, I started putting pen to paper and didn’t stop for several years. What I realized was that I was so obsessed with negative stories that I realized what I had done, whether it was a great sunset, a V of snow geese on the horizon, or an act of kindness. In other words, I was unable to see the good that was unfolding around me. The day had a positive impact.
When I didn’t have paper and pen, especially the year I commuted from North Lancaster to downtown Montreal, I would quietly start my morning drive, talk to myself out loud, set my intentions for the day, and recite my gratitude. I did. It never failed, even my darkest moods changed, I changed, my energy was purified. When I no longer felt the need to write in my journal, I decided to go to bed a few minutes earlier and review my gratitude list for the day. Esther Hicks, who channels Abraham, once said that she puts his gratitude on her pillow every night and goes to sleep grateful. yes!
Lately, Jim and I have been sharing gratitude as a blessing before dinner. Before we pick up our forks and eat, we share with each other five or six things we’re grateful for that day. This habit focuses our attention on all the good things in our life and reduces all the noise of the world around us.
your turnI’ll leave this task to you. Start a gratitude practice today and make it a part of your daily routine. Optional: keep a journal, have gratitude and intentions in the morning, be grateful in the evening before you go to sleep, share your gratitude with your partner or family before a meal, or start a gratitude practice with co-workers at work. All options work.
Gratitude is an intention, a practice, and an energy. A simple tool to enrich your life, GRACE diet.Until next time, Dr. Betty Healy, CAPP