Your Daily #RAtip: Practice Gratitude

How many of you practice gratitude every day?

When you're struggling with the chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis gratitude can be hard to come by. But gratitude is critical to your healing.

Pain focuses our attention on the negative, on what we can't do, on what we don't have. Practicing gratitude refocuses your attention and energy on the positive and this is so important for healing. A negative mind can't create a healthy body. Our thoughts create our reality so keep them positive.

Here's what I do. Every day I list 5 things I'm grateful for. Sometimes those things are big, like having the opportunity to travel to Africa with my son for safari and take the photo of the lion (above), but most days the things I'm grateful for are much smaller- healthy food on the table, a sunny day, a phone call from a friend, a nice comment from an Instagram follower, kisses from my dogs.

Sometimes I write down my 5 things and sometimes it's in my head, and then I remind myself that somewhere in the world someone is hoping and praying for the things I take for granted.

I started this practice when I was deep in my RA pain, long before I got well. At first it was hard. I couldn't hold a tooth brush, my business was falling apart, we were losing our home and my marriage was crumbling. What was there to be grateful for? But there was always something and as I practiced I found I could easily think of 5, 15, 50 things every day!

Gratitude changes everything my friends, but like a lot of things, it requires practice before it comes easily. Give it a try, you've got nothing to lose and everything to be grateful for.

Posted on January 12, 2015 .