Gratitude this Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a great time of year as we reflect on everything we are thankful for. This is not always an easy practice, especially if we have been going through something challenging. All of us have been going through a global pandemic for a year and a half now, which is a challenge. I could also say practicing gratitude could be one of the more important things to do when going through a challenging time because it shifts our perspective away from our problems. Anytime we can shift our perspective to something we are grateful for or to helping other people, we begin to feel better.
Today, you could be grateful for something small, like a cup of tea. Or, you could be grateful for something more significant, like making it through another day. The first example, a cup of tea, shifts our perspective to things on a small or micro level. The second example, making it through another day, shifts our perspective to things on a larger-scale or macro level.
If you are having trouble finding something to be thankful for because your life feels too hard right, try looking at the micro scale. Did you have a good meal recently? Do you have a warm bed to sleep in? Have you recently watched a show or movie you enjoyed? Did you drive home with less red lights than normal? What micro blessing can you be thankful for today?
Maybe the micro-scale way of thinking isn’t suiting you. What macro things can you be thankful for? Do you have a friend you can call or text? Do you have supportive people in your life? Are you healthy? Do you have a home to live in? Do you work in a job you enjoy? Do you have hobbies that you enjoy? Do you draw strength from your faith? Those are all significant things! You have many reasons to be thankful if you answered yes to any of these questions.
If those shifts in perspective are not helping you feel more grateful, go find someone and do something nice for them. Send a card, a kind text, or perform a task for the other person that would be helpful. Go volunteer somewhere you can help others. Thinking about another person and taking an action step of kindness is another way to spread gratitude.
Some have suggested gratitude journals, where everyday you write down three or more things you are grateful for. Do this first thing in the morning and see how your attitude changes throughout the day.
I have many reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving and always. When I am finding it difficult to find something specific to be thankful for, shifting my perspective always helps. I hope something in this post resonates with you and opens up your heart to gratitude.
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