I’m so grateful to live in a country whose tradition includes STOPPING everything and giving thanks. As one of my pals says, this is her favorite holiday: family, food, fun and giving thanks. Now, there’s a recipe for a good time.
It makes me think of my mom and something which used to happen when I was a teenager. Sometimes I’d get cranky and feel pitiful, lounging around the house pretty much in a state of funk. My mother’s reliable remedy was: “You just need to get out and do something for someone else.” How I HATED her insensitivity to my misery. How I RESENTED that she was so cavalier about my dire situation(s). These days, how I admire her wisdom.
Getting out and helping others was a three-way winning combo: my effort helped someone who needed it; I felt more powerful, more capable; AND, when they inevitably thanked me repeatedly, I went away feeling like I was a worthy person. Of course, now I know that far from be insensitive, my mom’s response grew from a deep wisdom about how to get ourselves out of a funk.
Especially during this difficult time, as Thanksgiving approaches, I’m reminded of the value of gratitude. Besides being something which fits into our national holiday, research on the benefits of gratitude have demonstrated that being grateful increases life satisfaction and hope; it is linked with lowering depression and anxiety; and can have long-lasting impact on one’s physical well-being to boot!
There are a number of great ways to practice being thankful:
- Keeping a Gratitude Journal, listing 3-5 things a day for which you’re grateful;
- Writing a Gratitude Letter…remember that 7th grade teacher who made a difference, that Scout Master who put up with so much from you…;
- Making a Gratitude Visit…once you’ve written the Gratitude Letter, how about delivering it in person;
- Using saying grace at your meal as an opportunity to mention 3 things since the last meal for which you are grateful.
There are many ways to get into the gratitude habit. Yes, experts tell us that seeing great stuff in your life (in your kids) is a HABIT. We can get better at it through practice. Plus one of the excellent side effects is that in beginning to look for good things happening, we begin to notice good things happening.
So, here are my three gratitudes for today: I’m grateful for the Internet as a way to communicate with so many folks; I’m grateful that my mom taught me how to get myself out of a funk; I’m grateful for the satisfaction that comes from belonging to a family. And of course,
I’m grateful for you, my readers!
Happy Turkey Day to you and your little gobblers!!