Many Americans associate Thanksgiving with turkey, football and lots and lots of shopping, but the truth is Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to reflect on our blessings. Before you carve into that turkey, turn on the tube or grab your wallet and keys take a few minutes, days or even the whole month to reflect on those things in your life that bring you comfort and joy. If you need a little help here are a few ways to reign in the positive energy.
Maintain a Gratitude Journal
At the end of each day take a moment to reflect upon something positive. Maybe you cooked an amazing meal, stood in a short line at the grocery store, spent a few minutes reading with your child or walked outside without stepping into a puddle. No matter how big or small the action or event may seem now is the time to reflect on the moment. Write down the details of at least three things you are grateful for each evening before going to bed. Focus on your health, family, friends and even your natural surroundings. The more you reflect the more grateful you will feel. If you need a gratitude journal check out the large selection available on Amazon.
Take Time for Loved Ones
We all feel so busy all the time, especially around the holidays. We know that close relationships are important, but between the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas it can be difficult to find time for the ones we love. This year set aside specific time on your calendar. Carve out the space and then make certain you spend time with the ones you care most deeply about. When you are together focus on the moment and how much you nurture each other’s souls.
Smile and Act Happy
Have you ever been in a particularly foul mood and noticed how a smiling cashier or coworker can completely change your demeanor? In order to feel happy sometimes we need a little push in the right direction. For the next few days try smiling even if you would rather be scowling. Rather than complaining as you stand in a long line, think about the extra time you’ve been given to reflect on the good parts of your day. Try to find positive aspects of any and every situation.
Since the holidays are hectic it is more important than ever to find time for rest. Try to go to bed a few minutes earlier each night or set your alarm a few minutes later. Take an extra minute to wash your face, shave your legs or simply feel the water drip over your back in the shower. Put your feet up for a few minutes after dinner and relax. You don’t need a significant amount of time, just a few extra minutes of contentment will boost your mood.
Refocus Your Priorities
It’s easy to spend your days worrying about serving a Martha Stewart meal, obsessing over the number of gifts to buy or fretting about Thanksgiving dinner with your in-laws. This Thanksgiving refocus your energy on the things that really matter. Will your children remember the mound of gifts you purchase for Christmas or the fact that the mashed potatoes felt a little lumpy? No. So instead take time out to play in a giant leaf pile or make a backyard camp fire on a chilly evening. When you refocus your priorities you immediately feel grateful.