Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s always good to be thankful!
Gratitude is a powerful tool that allows us to look at the world around us, and be thankful for what we have within it. But it can be hard, right? To be thankful when everything feels so bleak and the news seems to spiral ever further into chaos? I find it quite difficult to find joy sometimes, but without practising gratitude, I quickly become consumed by my dark thoughts.
Thanksgiving, while largely an American holiday, can be the perfect time for us all to sit back and think about the little things in our lives. Those things that can often become overshadowed and forgotten about. Because, in the grand scheme of things, even the smallest things in life can make the biggest impact!
What is gratitude and why should we be thankful?
Gratitude is giving thanks for what we have and receive in life, no matter how small they might seem. When we’re struggling in life it can be difficult to see the sky for the trees. It’s something I like to call ‘tunnel vision’ wherein the only focus in life is on the negative things, instead of the picture surrounding them. When we’re depressed, it’s easy to focus on all the things making us depressed when, in fact, there might be multiple solutions or paths to choose from. By practising gratitude, we can understand the small things that bring us joy in life and focus on them. It can be something as seemingly silly as your morning coffee or a cuddle from your beloved pet that brings you great joy.
Positive psychology research has long associated gratitude with improved feelings of happiness. It’s thought to improve the positive emotions we feel, allow us to hold onto good experiences, enable us to better deal with adversity and even help us to build and maintain healthy relationships.
5+ Things to be thankful for this thanksgiving.
Be thankful for your Family and Friends.
Now is the perfect time to reflect on those we love and cherish in life. This can be your friends, family, pets and even colleagues who hold a special place in your heart. And let’s not forget those who have passed on! Just because they’re gone, doesn’t mean we can’t thank them for all the love they gave us in life.
Be thankful for Good Health in yourself and others.
Not everyone has the privilege of being in good health. So, for those of you who are, don’t forget to reflect on that and how lucky you are. Think about what you can do to maintain that going forward. Maybe give up on a bad habit or take up some new, good ones?
Be thankful for Home and Shelter.
There are many living without the privilege of a roof over their heads. While the rent might be high, and the mortgage rates insane, if you have a home, at least you’ve got somewhere to sleep.
Be thankful for Food and Nourishment.
After a recent bout of stomach pain, I’m certainly grateful for decent food again. It’s like coming up for air after an extended period of being trapped underwater! Now is the time you can also be thankful for good, nutritious food and access to it.
I would also like to take a moment to touch on the fact that holidays such as Thanksgiving can be difficult for those with an eating disorder. While this guide is not aimed specifically at Thanksgiving, I urge you to give it a read and apply these steps to make this period a bit easier.
Be thankful for nature and the beauty it holds.
Nature is a wonderful thing and the power it has to soothe can be astounding. I’m not much of an outdoor person, but a stroll through the forest or countryside somehow leaves me feeling tranquil. It’s the ability to switch off and step away from screens. And, instead, spend time with the earth, the creatures within it and everything else it has to offer.
Be thankful for all your opportunities.
There are so many things that can fit into this category, from the jobs we can apply for to the opportunity to learn and grow. There are so many avenues available to us, some with little to no problems, and others that might require more work on our part.
I think about the opportunities I have now compared to my parents and even grandparents before me, and how vastly different they are! I am privileged to be able to continue to host and write this blog, as well as sell my artwork.
Be thankful for random Acts of Kindness.
You’ve heard of these, right? The little things we can do every day for ourselves and others can mean everything. By simply saying hello, holding the door open or stopping to help someone with their bags, you could make a world of difference!
Be thankful for Creativity!
I would be lost without my ability to create, be that in my writing or artwork! Creativity is an amazing outlet for emotions, passion projects, hopes and dreams! There are so many ways we can be creative from painting and drawing to writing and crafting.
What do you enjoy to create? Here are some ideas that might help get you started!
Be thankful for time, moments and memories.
Last but by no means least, we need to be thankful for all the time, moments and memories we have. They’re often taken for granted because they happen without much input from us, but every moment is a gift. Especially when spent with our loved ones and doing what we enjoy.
I look back at my memories with my grandparents with a feeling of bittersweet comfort. Yes, they’re gone, but I’ll always be thankful for the moments I spent with them.
This holiday season, no matter what you’re doing, take the time to remind yourself that these moments will someday be memories that you’ll cherish. Visit your parents, grandparents, siblings and other loved ones. Share in the joy of being together.
10+ Gratitude Prompts for Thanksgiving.
- List 10 things you are grateful for in your life.
- If you could build your ideal Thanksgiving dinner guest list, who would be on it?
- How do you practice gratitude/thankfulness in your daily life?
- Make a list of the people in your life whom you are thankful for.
- What abilities do you have that you are thankful for?
- Which opportunities in your life make you feel gratitude?
- What lessons have you learned since last Thanksgiving that you are grateful for?
- List the good things that have happened to you in the past year.
- In what ways do you express gratitude to those you love?
- What is your favourite part of fall?
- What places are you most thankful for? Why?
- What small, simple everyday joys are you thankful for?
- How can you plan to practice more gratitude in your life?