According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition of gratitude is the state of being grateful; thankfulness. Over the years I have learned the one simple act that we can perform is to be grateful for all the things that happen in our day-to-day lives. Oftentimes we feel gratitude when we are in a bind and something or someone comes to our aid and everything works out. There are many things we can be grateful for – a loving family, an inspiring job, a beautiful home, supportive friends, good food, for example. However, how many of you are grateful for your body?

What I have observed is that we take our bodies for granted much of the time and really don’t give our bodies the appreciation that it deserves. Just think if you had to spend time to breathe in enough oxygen into your lungs or focus on your stomach and the rest of your digestive system to break down the foods you just consumed? If that was the case and our bodies didn’t automatically do these functions for us, we would never have any time to get our work done, be creative, or do other things.

I have suggested to my practice members that as they became aware of how their breathing got deeper during or after adjustments, they felt less tension or pain in their bodies, or slept more restfully at night, to thank their bodies. It may sound cheesy, but just recognize that when your body creates a pain or health ailment, it is doing so for your best interest. Your body is not trying to punish you and is not failing you, when pain appears, but is doing the exact opposite. The body is trying to catch your attention so that way you can reflect on what you are doing or not doing in your life that is creating more stress. Stress is the cause of many, if not all, health ailments and disease. To what degree stress impacts you and your life is dependent upon how you perceive the intensity of the stress.

Take this time to thank your body right now and be grateful for all the things that you don’t have to think about that your body takes care of. Cultivate an appreciation for the lack of pain in your body as well as when tension appears. By learning to listen to the signals of your body and identifying what things are truly bothering you in your life can lead to more ease and happiness. You have the power to increase your awareness and become more present with your body. By doing so, you will strengthen your mind-body connection and trust your ability to self-heal. Gratitude doesn’t cost a cent, and just by doing this one simple act, helps you to also appreciate and be grateful for being alive. Treasure your body, take care of it, and in return it will take care of you.