Gratitude: Make It Happen In Your Life


Can you imagine starting out your day with a thank you? Imagine connecting with your Green Mountain wins…small successes that you count, notice and hold on to. Imagine starting a sentence with I am thankful____________.

Gratitude and appreciation are ways to increase your positive self talk and by definition, decrease your negative self talk.

The first thing you do each day gets done and there is scientific research that suggests that writing down your gratitude just might be one of the things that you decide to get done. A psychologist and professor at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Robert Emmons is one of the foremost experts in the field of gratitude.

Dr. Emmons research demonstrated that “those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.”

Dr. Vickie Chang suggests several ways to include the practice of gratitude in your daily life.

  • Pick a gratitude buddy. Just like a workout buddy, a gratitude buddy can keep you motivated and on track with practicing gratitude.
  • Savor gratitude daily.  When you appreciate something, stop for 30 seconds and really let it sink in. Note any emotions you are feeling. Tune into how your body reacts when you are feeling gratitude.
  • Notice what you take for granted. Think through how your life would change if you did not have something that you take for granted, and notice any thoughts or emotions that arise.

If you added gratitude to the first thing you do each day, how would you finish I am thankful_________?


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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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