Posted on September 8, 2016 by Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is a winner of 39 Grand Slam Tennis Titles, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a champion for social change and equality. She serves as Atria’s Well-Being Coach.
Every day when I wake up, I take a few moments to think about all I am grateful for in my life: family, friends, my health, having a platform to address issues I am passionate about, and having another day to help others. There is no better way to set ourselves up – mentally, emotionally and physically – to have a terrific day. When we become present to all the goodness and wonder around us, we open ourselves to experiencing greater happiness and fulfillment.
Having had the privilege of getting to know Atria residents over the last three years, I’ve discovered that gratitude can grow stronger and more powerful as we grow older. The people who live at Atria don’t have time to sit around complaining or feeding negative thoughts. They are too busy counting their blessings and working together to find ways to express their appreciation to others in creative and heartfelt ways.
Their thankfulness not only inspires me – it makes serving as their Well-Being Coach easier. That’s because, although it may not be their intention, their grateful mindset is a big part of why they’re aging successfully. More and more scientific studies are finding that gratitude helps us make better lifestyle choices. Here’s how:
Gratitude improves our physical health. When we appreciate our health, we are more likely to be excellent caretakers of it. We exercise more often, eat what is good for us and are more likely to have regular check-ups. It’s no wonder grateful people report feeling healthier and experiencing fewer aches and pains.
Gratitude encourages relationships – and relationships are everything. Showing appreciation to people we meet makes them more likely to want to get to know us better. And letting people we already have a connection with know how much they mean to us brings us closer together.
Gratitude helps us move forward. Recognizing and focusing on what we have to be thankful for – even during difficult times – promotes resilience, which makes us more confident about setting new goals and trying new things.
The gratitude in our hearts is a powerful force in our lives. Let’s all “Go Grateful” for greater well-being.