We can be grateful for so many things, but we often forget to project that gratitude inward. We asked Melbourne Blogger Ellen Walker what gratitude means to her. This is her story of gratitude… for the body that takes her through life’s ups and downs.
This year hasn’t been easy on any of us, from losing jobs to being forced to stay locked in our homes for months on end. The financial insecurity, lack of social interaction and concerns for the future have been overwhelming, to say the least.
In times like these, where we feel our mentality start to spin in a negative direction, it’s more important than ever to practice gratitude. With so much to worry about, it can be hard to encourage yourself to see the positives, but it’s such an effective tool for improving your mood and overall mental health.
For me, something that I have been trying to focus my gratitude on recently is my body. Now, this may sound strange: we each have a body, it’s the very basis of existence, so why is it something we should spend time being grateful for?
My answer for this is twofold: firstly, I have spent a large portion of my life being unsatisfied with my body which I sadly believe is the case for the majority of females. Growing up in the era where Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss represented the ‘body standard’ that was plastered across magazines and adverts, it was hard to believe that having an inch of stomach fat was remotely acceptable.
We’re so fortunate that times are quickly changing and that the internet seems to be slowly but surely transforming into a place of body-positivity and finally showcasing what female bodies really look like: thick thighs, stretch marks, belly rolls and all. Instead of seeing my body as a ‘work in progress’, I try to look at it with more kindness and appreciating it for carrying me through life rather than prodding and poking at the bits society have told me are unacceptable.
This leads me nicely to my second reason to be grateful for my body, for all the things it does for me. I dragged myself on a run at the start of lockdown and spent the first ten minutes or so mentally moaning about how much I was hating it, how everything hurt and how I wanted to stop. Until something in me clicked: I realised how lucky I was to be able to do this, to have a body that allowed me the independence and freedom to take myself out and run. I realised there are so many people in this world that would do anything to have that, and here I was, grumbling about it.
Imagine if you took the time to thank your body every day and tell it how grateful you are for every single part, even the parts you’re not so fond of. What a simple way to change your mindset and feel more confident in your skin. I’ll start: I’m grateful for my legs for carrying me on so many adventures, for my feet for spending so many nights out with friends walking in heels (albeit begrudgingly); and for my arms for allowing me to do the things I love, including drawing, writing and baking.
What are you grateful for? Say thank you the best way we know how, by sharing your story on sharegratitude.com