Practicing gratitude means seeing the good things in your life, recognizing them and acknowledging them.
Research has shown that people who practice gratitude in their day-to-day lives feel overall happier than those who don’t. So why wouldn’t you want to build a gratitude practice into your routine, or better yet, combine it with your martial arts practice?
Here are three ways to build gratitude into your martial arts practice:
Have gratitude for your body
Your martial arts practice starts and stops with your body. In order to practice martial arts, your body has to be healthy and functional. If you train kickboxing or Muay Thai, you might say: I am thankful that my legs allow me to high kick. If you train Jiu Jitsu, you might say: I am thankful for my speed that allows me to pass guard quickly.
You might also be thankful for things like your core strength, your balance, and even your mind which allows you to learn new skills and techniques day after day. You can say things like: my body is amazing, it is strong, it supports me in so many ways while I pursue my sports.
Have gratitude for your training partners
Your martial arts experience isn’t a solo one, though you may have joined the gym just by yourself. You’ve met so many people along the way, from coaches to other students.
Start by having gratitude for your training partners. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to continue to develop in the sport. Your training partners push you to be better, day in and day out; they support you during tough classes, and oftentimes they become close friends.
Name your training partners, be grateful for your shared experiences with them. Think about competitions you’ve perhaps won together, happy moments, laughs you’ve had on or off the mats. How have you grown as a result of your training partners?
Have gratitude for the sport itself
How does training Muay Thai, kickboxing or Jiu Jitsu make you feel? How has your martial arts experience impacted you in a positive way? Has it given you confidence in the gym or outside the gym? Have you met new people and found a new community through it?
Think about how you felt before training martial arts and after, and have gratitude for not just the sport but also for the change you see in yourself.
A gratitude practice doesn’t have to be complicated. You can acknowledge all the things you are grateful for in your mind, or journaling them. You might try a gratitude jar, writing down things you are grateful for every day and adding those slips of paper to the jar, and pull them out once in a while to read and reflect.
However you decide to do it, do it with intention and you’ll be sure to start seeing the benefits from your gratitude practice in your daily life.
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