3 Ways to Feel More Grateful – and More Toned

With Thanksgiving in just a couple days, you might be hearing a lot about gratitude – why it’s important, how to focus on it, and so on. For good reason – it’s essential to both physical and mental health

But sometimes we think that in order to be grateful, we need to be one of the Lucky Ones... those got-it-all-together, successful, confident people you meet at parties. (You know who I mean?) They must feel grateful all the time, because they’re so lucky. Right?


Yes, there IS a link between gratitude and being “lucky” – but, luck doesn’t just fall from the sky. Sometimes, you create it.

One morning last winter, I felt like one of those Lucky Ones. I woke up early; I had tones of energy. On the exercise bike, I had one of my favorite guilty pleasure songs blasting –  I’m totally embarrassed to admit this – I Feel Lucky” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. It’s so goofy – but it was exactly how I felt.

Then, though, the day really started. I was taking my son Ty to school, and (of course) we were late; outside, I kept dropping things in the slush, my boots were soaking wet, Ty was soaking wet; cabs and buses just kept passing us by.

What a contrast – all that good feeling was gone. I did not feel lucky at ALL.

Then I thought, but what if I did?

Just for kicks, I started singing it – “I feel lucky, I feel lucky today.” Ty looked at me all funny, but I was like, “I can feel it, Ty, we’re going to get something.” And then, a cab stopped across the street, and a man got out. He saw me and Ty, and, as if reading my mind, he called out, This one’s for you.”

And I was like, it worked!

(I’ve tried to use the song again, but it doesn’t always work that way. I think your intentions have to be purer than that.)

Looking at your life through the lens of “I feel lucky” – that’s part of what you do when you focus on gratitude. When you come from an open, loving place that’s ready to feel lucky, you open your heart for good things to come in.

But not every day is going to go your way – so sometimes, you have to create the mindset first, before the luck starts raining (or snowing) down on you. So, I decided to create some ways to physically step into it. 

By combining gratitude with movement, you get a whole new perspective – plus, you get to burn those extra holiday calories!

Here are three of my favorites:

  • Airplane leg extension. Stand on one leg. Lean forward and extend your other leg back behind you. Pretend you’re flying high, looking down at your life. What do you see from this bird’s eye view? What are some things that make your life unique and wonderful, that you don’t always see from the ground?
  • Squats. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees into a squat. Don’t let your knees go past your toes. For each squat, name something you’re grateful for. Be specific, and go deep!
  • Lunge grab-downs. These are just basic lunges – but each time, reach down and grab the floor. What do you already have in your life that you don’t always appreciate? What do you sometimes take for granted?

Feel that gratitude flowing through your body! These exercises aren’t just for November – you can do them all year round, whenever you need to feel more grateful – and more lucky.


Photo by Chanan Greenblatt on Unsplash

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