I invite you to ponder the question and perhaps list more than three ways to feel joy and bliss on a daily basis. Some of you may think this inquiry is simple to answer, others may find it a challenge. Truly we are all unique in our perceptions, but for the purpose of this article, I will sum it up with a simple guide we can all apply to our bodies, our minds and even our spirit.

As a yoga teacher, group fitness instructor, personal trainer and coach, I have much gratitude for all the students and clients I have worked with over the last 15 years. From New Jersey to Virginia, my life’s work has allowed me to meet many amazing people from all walks of life: from athletes to new moms; little ones in diapers to high school gym kids and teachers; from retired Air Force members to former diplomats; and beyond.

No matter what the story or ability is, I can easily connect the dots and share are the secret to gaining strength, confidence and joy on our paths to wellness. And the best part? It’s as easy as A-B-C. But sometimes going back to the basics challenges our over-loaded brains and busy schedules. Let’s dive in:

A: An attitude of gratitude

Keeping a positive attitude will have you feeling like the goals on your lists are attainable and reachable. Research has shown that positive people are significantly healthier and less stressed, they enjoy deeper social interactions than the less positive people around them. 

This inner muscle of the mind, if you will, needs strengthening just as much as those biceps, triceps other muscles of the body.

B: Breathe

Just breathe. This is what I refer to as “free medicine.” It provides us with vitality and life force. We often take it for granted, however, until we are short of breath or even have a stuffy nose. If we are fearful, we become shallow breathers as anxiety or panicked thoughts take over and shorten our breath.

There are many techniques to train our respiratory system and help to calm the mind, cleanse the body and even energize our day. Studies have shown how deep breathing increases the oxygen to the brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. So breathe deeply right now and feel at ease in your day and your life!

C: Courage

As defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. The root of the word is Cor/ Coeur, which means heart in Latin and French. 

As the third component to a healthier, more vibrant and joyful you, I suggest stepping out of your comfort zone daily and allowing your positive attitude, deep breaths and courage to push through difficulty.

We all encounter challenges on all levels throughout our lifetimes. None of us are exempt from this fact. However, we can rise above adversity and truly walk a path of joy if we simply follow these ABC’s to growing stronger.

By taking time to read this article you have planted the seed for a joyful and more vibrant you! I thank you, and your body, mind and spirit will thank you, too.

Monica Fernandi is a yoga/fitness and personal trainer. Visit her website at www.monicafernandi.com to read past blogs and testimonials and even jump into her exercise video library. You can also find her on social media at Monica Fernandi/GrowStrengthWithin for positive and up-lifting wisdom.

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