by Kristen Troy
Thanksgiving is a National Holiday where we spend time with family and friends, eat delicious food, watch football, and give thanks for the year. Some of us don’t practice gratitude regularly, and we can only appreciate what and who we have as the holidays are approaching when thankfulness is at the forefront of our minds. Going into Thanksgiving celebrations tomorrow, think about all the things you are thankful or grateful for presently and over the past year.
Here are some tips for recognizing all the things you have to be grateful for tomorrow and throughout the whole year.
- Say thank you. This could be done with a text, a call, a gif, a formal letter, or kinds words informing someone you appreciate them. Letting someone know you appreciate them and are thankful for something they helped you with or did for you can help strengthen that relationship and improve both parties’ moods.
- Appreciate each day. Every day that you wake up is a new day to explore more of life and make a difference in the world. By starting each day giving thanks for your ability to have new experiences, each day will start positively.
- Pay it Forward. There are many ways to pay it forward. You could open a door for someone who doesn’t have enough hands to open it him or herself, ask if someone needs help carrying their groceries to the car, pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line, give a more generous tip to a cashier or server, or anything else that may help someone else get through their day.
- Give a compliment. Many of us observe others as we go through our days and think “I love their outfit” or “They are so funny”, or any number of other positive thoughts. Next time you have one of these passing thoughts, let that person know. Many people get self-conscious and unsure of themselves; by complimenting them on their positive traits, you may enhance not just that person’s day but also their life.
- Say thanks for some of the negative things in life. Difficult situations can make us think negatively about the experience and about ourselves, but from difficult situations we learn, grow, and develop the ability to conquer them when they happen in the future. Practice by thinking back onto past experiences to see what you learned or how you grew from those situations. This will help you to turn negatives into positives and be more able to do this while going through frustrating experiences.
- Rephrase the Question. Instead of asking what you are grateful for, ask people to tell you a story about a time they were thankful for someone. This will prompt people to think about experiences and be able to share a story that others will be able to relate to and learn more about the individual(s) they are thankful for.
- Keep a Journal. Throughout the year every time you feel thankful or grateful for something write down one line about why you are grateful for that person, object, or event so you can look back when you are feeling down and know all the good that has happened in a year.
- Write Yourself a Love Letter. We talk a lot about being thankful for others, but do you take time to be thankful for yourself? Start a letter by, “Dear ‘Your Name’, Thank you for….”. This will help you reflect on how you are thankful for your mind, body, and self, which is important because we sometimes take ourselves for granted and don’t appreciate all that we do. Examples are:
- Acknowledge how your body plays a part in your life. For instance, if you love being physically active, thank your body for its strength and health that allow you to be active.
- Your mind is kind, smart, and creative, which helps you with your job and relationships. Let it know!
- If you are a parent, you take care of your children and make sure they are safe and loved. That deserves a self-pat on the back.
Reflecting on the past year and giving thanks can help us to cherish the last year fully. As we come to the end of this decade also think about the past 10 years. Within those years there have been ups and downs, life changes, and many memories. Be thankful for all those memories and consider using some of the above techniques to show thankfulness as we go into the next decade. Taking that gratitude and thanks with us into 2020 may increase our life enjoyment and happiness.
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for reading.