I’ve always liked Thanksgiving because it’s the holiday when you eat all the foods while visiting with family and friends without the added pressure of buying gifts. It’s also a time for giving thanks if you look at the word itself. I’ve been thinking about this for a while because it seems we often struggle to be thankful for what we have (myself included). Most of the time we focus on what we don’t have or think about how life would be so much better once this or that happens. What if instead, we learn to embrace what we have right now?
Practicing gratitude can seem harder than it really is. Our default is to want to complain and find the negative in life. We can always find many things wrong with ourselves and life, but when asked to name something we like about ourselves we tend to have a hard time with that one. Over the past three years as I’ve been on my wellness journey, I have been learning how to be more grateful. When we show gratitude, more opportunities for us to be grateful show up.
It can be as simple as being thankful you woke up in the morning or grateful for having a bed, home, clothes, food. There are those in need of these basic necessities that we take for granted. We never know how life can change so we should be grateful for what we have. I have struggled financially for the past year, but I am so grateful to have the jobs I do have. I am living my purpose by teaching others about nutrition and wellness. There are days I am depressed and stressed because I wish I had more but then I focus on how I am helping others and how deep down in my heart I know I’m happy.
One way to start practicing gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal. This can be as simple as a notebook by your bed or in your bag. Then every night before bed you can write down 3 things you are grateful for that happened earlier in the day. This will force you to look back over the day, finding those positive moments. Once we start to seek them out, we keep looking for them. Eventually we notice a shift in our thinking, mood, feelings and overall life.
As you wake up on Thanksgiving morning, think about your blessings and how you can express gratitude. Look around the dinner table, who are you grateful for? Why? Then go tell them. If there are people or a person you are grateful for that isn’t there, write them a letter, email, send a text. It doesn’t matter how you communicate, it’s the sentiment that matters. Never underestimate the power of communication and connection. That is something else to be grateful for. I am truly grateful for all my people and my life, no matter how messy it is at the moment.
I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving!