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Having a Bad Day? Melvin Gordon Shows You How to Be Grateful Anyway

By Melvin Gordon | September 21, 2017 | Rally Health

Even for me, as an NFL player, it can sometimes be tempting to forget how good I have it. If I have a bad game — I’m stopped inches short of the end zone, I drop a pass, or I fumble — I can get frustrated and upset with myself. In these moments, it seems like nothing's going my way.

I’m probably not thinking about the most simple blessings in my life — like my friends and family, the people who cheer for me whether I play well or not. My health, and athleticism. The roof over my head. The plate of food on my table. The soft bed I sleep in every night.

But even on our toughest days, especially on our toughest days, it’s important to take some time to account for at least one thing for which we’re grateful. I’ve read that people who write down at least one thing they’re grateful for every day are more optimistic, and report lower levels of stress — they also tend to have stronger personal relationships, are more likely to exercise regularly, and tend to get sick less often.

How You Can Be Grateful

  • Write a letter or quick thank you note to a friend or family member, expressing your appreciation of their role in your life.
  • Keep a journal, and jot down something you’re grateful for every day, or write down three things you’re grateful for at the end of every week.
  • Think about difficult moments you’ve experienced, how you overcame them, and who and what helped you along the way.

Grateful Image

So, what am I grateful for? Well, of course, my offensive line, who open running lanes for me and help me score touchdowns. But more than anything, my parents, who taught me the value of being grateful. They instilled in me early on an attitude of being thankful for everything in my life. As a kid, I didn’t dare ever act ungrateful. That was a line I knew never to cross.

It’s also something I’ve tried to instill in the young people I speak to. I recently returned to my hometown of Kenosha, WI, and visited with the high school football team there. The school district just built a new stadium, something we didn’t have when I played in high school. We played at another school’s stadium, and every game felt like an away game. Standing there on that new field, talking to the freshman team, who would know that stadium only as the place they played their games, I told them, “Don’t take any of this for granted.”

Pro Tip: Expressing gratitude on a daily basis is a Rally® Mission, and the practice is also backed by science. Being grateful can make you more relaxed, and present. Try practicing gratitude once a day by thinking about the things in your life you’re thankful for, jotting them down in a note or journal, or expressing your gratitude to friends or family.

Melvin Gordon
Rally Health