When you think about physical training, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, developing greater strength or endurance are usually at the top of the list. I know there are other areas of physical fitness that are important—like flexibility and core stability—but I’ve often overlooked them.

But last weekend, that all changed.

One week ago, I was running around with my kids, and somehow I tweaked my back. For some people, back pain is a normal part of life. But for me, it was a new experience. And one I didn’t like at all.

After doing some research and talking to friends who’ve had similar experiences, I gained a new appreciation for the types of training that I’ve often overlooked in the past. It may not be flashy, but developing greater flexibility and strengthening one’s core can help alleviate and even prevent some of these kinds of injuries.

After a couple days, my back felt normal again. But as a result of what I learned and experienced, I also began to focus more on flexibility and core stability in my regular routine. These kinds of practices will not only increase what I can physically do, but can also provide some protection from certain types of injuries down the road.

* * *

Well, it turns out that flexibility and stability are qualities worth having in every area of life, not just in the gym. If you’re flexible and stable as a person, it won’t matter what kind of situation or season you’re in, you’ll be able to handle it much better than someone who is inflexible or not grounded.

And one habit that can help develop these kinds of qualities is the practice of gratitude. If you regularly turn your attention to what you can be grateful for, you’ll be less likely to lose hope when things get tough. If you’re aware of all the things you can be thankful for, you’ll be better able to stay content when things don’t go as you planned.

No, practicing gratitude isn’t flashy. It may not seem like a big deal. But once it becomes a habit, it can provide deeper levels of stability and flexibility. And when life inevitably throws you a curve ball, you’ll be able to adjust accordingly.