On Fridays, we (usually) start a #brightspotfriday thread in our private Facebook group. Essentially, the goal of this thread is to help our members celebrate any victories they had that week, in the gym, or in life in general. The bigger picture here is to build our practice of gratitude. Gratitude – it seems like a buzzword that’s been popping up a lot on the interwebz recently. There are a ton of “life coaches” and influencers that throw it around. Well, as corny as it may sound, gratitude is important.
We tend to focus on negativity. It’s human nature, and studies have been done that show we tend to dwell on bad things more than good. Hell, we see it everywhere. In the media, bad news spreads faster and wider than good news. It’s a running joke that many religions focus on how we’re all terrible people and probably going to hell, rather than on the positivity of redemption. We’re told how NOT to be, rather than how to be.
If you’re like me, you probably struggle with gratitude. I’ve always prided myself on my independence, even from a young age. I’ve also held extremely high expectations my whole life. Getting into an Ivy League school wasn’t an accomplishment; it was an expectation. I never understood why people made a big deal about it. The result of this mindset: I hold others to high expectations, and I have a hard time asking for help. I don’t thank or commend people as often as I should, even when they deserve it. And it’s something I’m working on.
The practice of gratitude can change this mindset. Bright Spot Fridays are simple, but effective. They force us to focus on the positive. It takes work, especially if you have a crappy week. But these are the times it’s most important. When you must dig deep to find something positive, it can improve your whole outlook on a given situation. Do it enough, and you start to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives.
Gratitude takes continuous work. Fighting against our own nature requires conscious effort – catching yourself when you’re dwelling on the negative and forcing yourself to think better. Using this practice in the gym is once again an example of how success in the gym carries over to your life outside of it. So, I encourage everyone to participate in our Bright Spot Fridays. If you’re not in our FB group, set aside some time for reflection at the end of each week. Mental health is hugely important for overall wellness, so let’s work on it together. See you in the gym.