Finding gratitude in our daily lives has great power. The act of appreciation not only improves our sense of well-being, it helps reduce stress and improve our physical and psychological health.
Embracing gratitude in the face of our chronic disease is what we can all reach for. Here are just a few ways I find gratitude, peace, and balance in every day.
Finding life’s gifts
Diabetes has plenty of ways to cause upset. However, the condition has taught me a great deal, and the lessons learned from living with this disease have deep value. Being thankful has been, as my mother would say, a “forced practice” that has helped me understand harmony and balance in a deep and intimate way. Managing diabetes does not define me. And the gifts around me — a loving family, great friends, a good job, and more — are gifts I am truly grateful for.
Reflection and the power of peace
Diabetes forces us to examine ourselves, and not just in the obvious manner of monitoring our physical health. Every time I get unnecessarily angry over a high number, I have a chance to learn — do I continue to give in to this anger and lose the peace available in this moment, or do I let go of the anger and find the happiness available to me? Although sometimes a challenge, I opt to find the good.
Be realistic and appreciative
If you are managing complications, it’s unrealistic to pretend everything is wonderful all the time. But in the midst of the upset involved in facing a complication, there is happiness. Maybe that happiness is found in the fact that you have a loving spouse who is by your side. Maybe that happiness is found in your children. Maybe you have a career that you love. The point is that we often allow pain (and the anger that comes with it) to be all encompassing. But diabetes is a PART of our life, not the whole of it. That’s a lesson all strive to understand. Today and every day, I find myself grateful for my life with diabetes because it forces me to live an examined life, and that is a gift.
Want to learn more about maintaining your emotional health with diabetes? Read “Reducing Diabetes Stress: Alternative Treatments” and “Relaxation Techniques for Stressful Times.”