Simple “Be Thankful” Strategies to Improve Your Health

Take the time to be thankful for your health by using these easy steps to reframe your mindset this holiday season.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
—William Arthur Ward, American author

The holidays are about making positive connection with friends, family and yourself. This holiday season, take the time to be thankful for your health. Use these simple strategies to help reframe your mindset around mindful eating, rest, game day and human connection.

Be thankful for REST.

• Black out your room and drop the temperature toward 65 degrees before going to sleep to help ensure you get a consistent sleep pattern for a solid 7-8 hours.
• Practice a relaxing 6/4/10 breathing technique (inhale for 6 seconds, hold for 4, and exhale for 10) once each day. CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center clinical psychologist (and resident mindfulness meditation expert), Liz Chamberlain suggests doing this right before bed to get your mind and body ready for a completely restful, regenerative night’s sleep.

Be thankful for GAME DAY.

• Park further away and walk briskly to your holiday destination.
• Set aside 5 minutes during halftime of the game to stretch or do a commercial-break workout.
• Organize a brisk, post-meal walk to kick start digestion and stabilize blood sugar. We’ve done research here at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center that shows short 5-10 minute walks throughout the day provide a wide range of health benefits.

Be thankful for HUMAN CONNECTION.

• Share a compliment with someone you appreciate.
• Clear yourself of any distractions when walking from place to place. Make eye contact and smile at someone you don’t know.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
—Robert Brault, American operatic tenor

Be thankful for DELICIOUS FOOD.

• Put the brakes on at the dinner table and minimize distraction by turning off devices.
• Focus on morsels, not mouthfuls.
• Slow down and appreciate your food (and those around you).

 

Want more? Check out these helpful holiday eating tips.