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Jan. 4, 2024

BONUS #1 I 5 simple rituals to deepen gratitude and embrace joy in the small things

BONUS #1 I 5 simple rituals to deepen gratitude and embrace joy in the small things

Are you letting your chronic condition dictate your happiness?

You might be unintentionally focusing on your limitations instead of the victories of your everyday life.

It's natural to feel lost in the struggle of managing a chronic illness, but there’s a powerful remedy within your reach: gratitude. Let’s talk about flipping the script from enduring to enjoying your life.

 You see, each day you have many opportunities to develop a grateful heart by learning to pay attention to all the blessings in your life- big and small. But if you do not learn to clear your mind of negativity on a regular basis, you leave no room in your heart for gratitude to enter. The joy that comes from within you does not depend on your circumstances to change. 

As the saying goes-

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. 


- How gratitude can reshape your perspective and brighten your outlook, even on tough health days.
- Practical steps to integrate thankfulness into your routine and start feeling its transformative effects.
- The psychological shift that happens when you transition from counting setbacks to celebrating small wins.

Remember, joy isn't just a feeling, it's a journey.

When you finish listening, I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, share it to your Instagram stories, and tag me, @healingjourneypodcast!

While you’re there, make sure you follow me on Instagram to see behind the scenes of how I navigate life's ups and downs with a spirit of gratitude—and how you can too.

Instagram | @aninditarungta


- Sign up for the "Joyful journey- the 5 day GRATITUDE CHALLENGE" for women to jumpstart your gratitude practice.

When you finish listening, I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, share it to your Instagram stories and tag me, @aninditarungta .

While you’re there, make sure you follow me on Instagram so you can see behind the scenes of how I teach women how to discover their own power to HEAL.


@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey

Your body knows how to heal, are you ready to support it?


 In today's episode, I'm going to share with you five simple gratitude rituals that you can implement today so that you can appreciate the life that you have and embrace your journey towards joy, peace, and deeper gratitude. That's all coming up next right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey. Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a functional medicine certified health coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more. 

I want to start with a story today. It's actually one of my favorite stories that I share with my clients, and it's about the eccentric wise man from the Sufi tradition called Mulla Nasreddin. So he and his donkey had been seen frequently crossing the border between Persia and Turkey. And as time went by, the custom official on both sides of the border started noticing that Nasreddin seemed to be getting increasingly richer. So here he was, taking his donkey from one end to another, one country to another country, and nothing else seemed to change, apart from the fact that he seemed to be getting richer, which meant that his clothes were getting finer, he was wearing more elegant perfumes and, you know, so they could just see it visibly. Something was surely happening. So the officers were pretty sure that he was smuggling something, something that was illegal, but they could not figure it out. So they thoroughly searched him. They searched his donkey and the donkey straw and all the bags that he was carrying. But each time they could find nothing. And this is how it went on for several years, right? So this is exactly how he continued. And he looked richer and richer. And yet, despite careful inspections of both him and his donkey, nothing was ever found. So many months later, one of the customs officials happened to see Nestor then shopping in the bazaar. So they happened to be there at the same time. And he approached Mullah Nasruddin and said that Mullah, I have retired from my post as a customs official and I now have a generous pension, and I don't want anything from you except one thing, you see, because we all knew you were smuggling something across the border, but we could never find anything on you or on the donkey. And I swear I won't tell a soul if you share your secret with me. What was it that you were smuggling? Nasruddin looked at him with a mischievous grin and replied. Donkeys. Right. So what do you actually think this old story is really about? I'm sure that you are aware it's not really about donkeys, right? But it's actually about all those things that are right underneath our noses. Things that we don't really see things in our day to day life. Right. You know, these small moments, uh, things that we can actually appreciate about our lives already, no matter how difficult the situation is, how challenging the situation is, whether you have a health issue, don't have a health issue. There are so many things in our lives that we can be appreciative about, but we don't really pay attention, and so we don't really notice. And in fact, I, uh, you know, I share this story at the beginning of my coaching sessions with my clients, and they love this story. Actually, I do this quite a bit. I share quite a bit of stories. It really drives home the point that I'm trying to make. And I also talk about the missing vitamin in most people's lives. Can you guess which vitamin it is? If you have guessed it is vitamin C or D or K, right, or vitamin E? that's not what I'm talking about, right? That might be missing, but this is something that most people have not really heard about. So the chances are you also haven't heard about vitamin J, which is joy.  This is something that is actually a primary component. 

Joy is a primary component of our psychological well-being. And it tends to lead to appreciation, a sense of contentment and gratitude. Yet this is something that we are not really trained. They are not really aware to pay attention to. Right? It's there. It's there. Like those donkeys in the story that I just shared with you. There are moments that we actually can feel joy, uh, and that can lead to gratitude. In fact, to feel gratitude, we have to be attuned to the good in our lives. And this gives rise to join our lives. It's actually the pure and simple delight that you have in being alive. That's enough to feel the joy in a particular moment. So when you intentionally cultivate joy, you will find that it can be a resting place in your heart. And so whenever you face challenges, sorrow or grief in your life, you can find your way back to it. And you can also learn to treasure it and look for the good in the bad.  And I know it's not easy. It's really hard. And it's hard when you are actually struggling, when you're facing a crisis, when you're facing a health challenge, it is really hard. But it can also be that simple, and it is a skill that you can actually develop because joy awakens all our senses. It energizes both mind and body. And it's often my, you know, it's often hidden in the small things. And that's what you need to pay attention to the to the day to day moments in your life. So it's often hiding in the smile of your child. It can be hiding in the hug of your loved one, a song that you hear, a meal that you have with your family, or the conversation that you have with a friend.  Each day you have many opportunities to pay attention to and find those moments of joy while developing a grateful heart. And that's when you actually start noticing all your blessings. Both big and small. No matter how hard your life is, no matter how difficult the times are, there are these moments that are both big and small that have elements of joy But you have to often coax these moments into your awareness,. 

Because you may be experiencing a sense of failure and emptiness, even on good health days. And you are neglecting neglecting to cherish the relief and freedom from pain. When you don't have pain on the days that you actually feel well, or you may be focusing only on the symptoms and setbacks instead of celebrating the strength that you showed at your last doctor's visit when he told you about that particular treatment, or the change in medication or the side effects of the drug. You are only focused on the symptoms and the setbacks, rather than how you dealt with it. Or you may be constantly feeling anxious about future flare ups, future health issues, and you're missing out on today's calm in between these flare ups, in between these treatments. Because the real issue isn't just about your chronic health conditions, it's that you have been zeroing in on the pain and the limitations, which can make you overlook the good days and the progress that you have made, even if it's small. 

This is something that I train my clients to do right from the beginning of their coaching program, you know? It's called Healing from within. And then right from when we start, I train them to look for this. I teach them how to look for this by sharing stories like this, by asking questions because you've probably tried every medical treatment. You've probably looking for a solution for a long time, but you're still feeling stuck because your focus has remained on what's going wrong and not what's going right. And that's exactly the reason why I ask a question right at the beginning of my coaching sessions. And I always start with what's, you know, been going well with you, what's going well? What is something that you would like to celebrate? Because when you focus only on the glass half empty and complain about all the things that are not the way you want it to be, you end up feeling helpless and disempowered. And that's not going to really help you to get better, to get the answers that you want to look for a solution. It's not right. Take my word for it. I mean, I also had this kind, I was also this in this kind of situation when my daughter's health issues, you know, we were going through the daughters health issues and we were really struggling. It was only when I learned to look at also the things that were going well that things started to shift, not in one day, but over a period of time. Because, as the saying goes, you can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. 

So let me ask you this. What if you could alter your way at looking at your life? What if you realize that life owes you nothing? Most importantly, what if you realize that what you have is actually a gift and cannot be taken for granted? You see, this research shows that when we look at life this way, the effects are quantifiable and sustainable, and this is in terms of the quality of our life. Our relationships are inner peace, happiness and health. So the point is. You are never too old, too young to reach, too poor, to live gratefully. Because in gratitude you recognize that the source of goodness is outside of yourself, right? So when you feel grateful, you know that you have been given a gift. You may not have not necessarily earned it, but you have certainly benefited from the gift. That's what a gift means. That's what receiving a gift means. But many of us don't know how to receive it. Because there are many, many health benefits which have been shown to link with gratitude. Some of them are increased happiness and positive mood, more satisfaction in life, less likely to experience burnout, better sleep, less fatigue, and greater resiliency. 

I mean, it's really worth it to take the time to develop a gratitude practice and to embrace the joy so you see each day. You have many opportunities to do this. You have many opportunities to develop a grateful heart by learning to pay attention to all these blessings in your life. But if you do not learn how to clear your mind off negativity on a regular basis, you leave no room in your heart for gratitude to enter. Because the joy that comes from within you does not depend on your external circumstances. So if you do accidentally lose your joy, which will happen because if something bad happens, if you're going through a really tough time, you know that you can still get it back by looking for it in your life. It's already there. It's like those donkeys I mentioned in the story. It's right underneath your nose. But when your mind is closed or filled with stress and negativity, you can miss out on all of this. So gratitude actually is another way of training your mind to awaken all your senses and revive your brain for seeing more of joy in your life. 

As the mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn had said. The little things, the little moments, they aren't little. So if you get into the habit of using your senses and looking for all the gifts that you have at this very moment, you can find valuable gifts even in the most challenging times. Even when you're going through a flare up, even when you are going through a, you know, pain pain field. There will be moments when you can actually look for a moment of joy, a momentary respite. Right? It will. It will help you to deal with what's going on at that time. And I'm going to share with you five simple rituals to get you started with this. 

So here are the five things that you can start doing today. These are rituals. These are. This is something that you can implement in your day to day life. The first one, and one of my most favorite ones, is keeping a gratitude journal. Because it's not enough to just notice it, you need to actually capture it, right? There's so many things that happens. So either keeping a gratitude journal as a morning practice or an evening practice right before bed. So basically bookending your day with a gratitude practice is really, really effective, right? So that helps you to notice and appreciate your life, uh, your as it is right now without trying to change anything about it. Right. This is something that I really, um, recommend to all my clients that they do this as either a morning practice or a part of their morning routine, or a part of their bedtime routine. 1s Then the next one is, uh, doing a body scan with gratitude.  So this again can be done before you get out of bed in the morning. So you can do a very quick scan right from your toes to your head to actually bring to your attention the different parts of your body. And saying a small thank you. Right? We take them for granted. We take our feet for granted. We take our legs for granted. We take our hands for granted. Our shoulders which carry so much of a burden on our backs. Our stomach for digesting our food. So if you can just pay attention and do a quick scan and infuse your body with gratitude, that makes so much of a difference to your day, and you can do it before you get out of bed in the morning, or you can always do it before you go to sleep at night. The third ritual that you can do is whenever you are having your cup of tea or coffee, right? Actually, pay attention to the drink and savor that cup. So many times we are in so much of a hurry, so much of a rush that we just gulp it down right. We don't pay any attention to the aroma, the flavor. Uh, you know how it looks, the temperature of the mug.  We don't do any of this. So if you can just, you know, you know, just just pay attention to when you are having a cup of tea or coffee. Again, morning time works pretty well for this, but you can do it any point in the day. So the first ritual I talked about was keeping a gratitude journal. The second ritual I talked about was doing a body scan with gratitude, and the third, the morning cup of tea and coffee. The fourth is actually, again, when you wake up in the morning, the first thing that you do, even before you pick up your phone, is to do something that makes you feel good. So again, doing it for three minutes or longer as you as you find, I mean as as you like. So something that you find rewarding and doable. So for me it would be something like reading a book that inspires me, I love it. I'm a voracious reader. For those of you who have known me for a while. So for me, reading a book really makes a huge difference, right? So it's very easy for me to pick up a book and read it, even if it's one chapter. And currently I'm actually reading a book, a very inspiring book by Howard Schultz, the, uh, the founder of Starbucks, reading about how he, you know, sort of, uh, pulled Starbucks through a very grueling time in 2008-9 is amazing. A testimony to his vision. So that inspires me. That's something that's really enjoyable for me. So you need to find something that is enjoyable. So whether it's stretching, whether listening to a song, whether it's writing down your thoughts or doing the gratitude practice anything that makes you feel good and is its own reward. And last but not the least. This is also very effective writing a letter of thanks to your past self, right? This is something that you can do on a regular basis. You don't need to do it every day of course, but thanking you know yourself for all those fantastic actions and decisions for which you are the fortunate beneficiary today. So whatever you've done in the past, so this can be done on a weekly basis. It can be done on a monthly, quarterly, write yearly. But writing a letter of thanks, giving thanks to yourself and the person you were and the person you are today is benefiting from all of that. So these are the five simple rituals that you know that will help you to amplify the deepen your gratitude practice and to, you know, pay attention to all those moments, joyful moments that you have in your life, both big and small. So let me summarize them for you.

 The first one was keeping a gratitude journal. The second ritual was doing a body scan with gratitude, the third savoring a cup of tea or coffee. The fourth is doing something that makes you feel good first thing in the morning, and the fifth one was writing a letter of thanks to your past. And as we wrap up today's episode, I want to leave you with this thought. Embracing a life of gratitude doesn't have to be a complex task. It can start with recognizing. It starts with recognizing the value in every moment, and understanding that joy does not depend on a on perfect health, but on a grateful heart. So whether it's the comfort of your favorite chair that you sit on on a difficult day, or the warmth on the side of the sun on your face or your favorite beverage, acknowledge these gifts right? The smile off your loved one. Getting a hug from your child, your spouse. These are your daily dose of vitamin J J for joy. This is essential for your emotional and internal physical well-being. 

So if you've been focusing solely on the pain, on the struggle, and all the can't do's, it's time to change that. Start noticing and giving thanks for the can do things that you can do, no matter how small they might seem. Because the power of gratitude can turn what you have into enough, and eventually more. So start with the simple rituals we talked about today. Make them yours and let them anchor you to the present moment, and let them show you all the richness that your life holds already, even with whatever that you are going through. Because there are always roses amongst the thorns. You have to just choose to see them. So if you have any questions, if you want to ask me anything, you can connect with me on Instagram at the rate and in the room. You can follow me there. But thank you so much for tuning into this episode, this bonus episode of Embracing Your Healing Journey, and I would love to hear your thoughts on today's episode. So share your own gratitude rituals, maybe the joys you have noticed, or the shifts in perspective by dropping a comment or messaging me directly on Instagram, or sharing a screenshot of this episode on Instagram and tagging me right at. And if this episode has touched you, shared it with somebody who might need a little nudge towards gratitude in their own healing journey. So in the next episode is On Your Health, a conversation around the art of self-advocacy for managing chronic conditions. I will be in conversation with two amazing women where we covered something important addressing our health issues and finding our voice. Don't miss it.

 Stay grateful, stay joyful, and keep embracing your healing journey. See you in the next episode. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?