Thanksgiving is just around the corner! A time to be thankful for life’s blessings! For the past thirty years of my life, since immigrating to the U.S, I have celebrated the tradition of giving thanks and a delicious turkey dinner with family and friends.
One fond memory of mine was hosting my very first Thanksgiving dinner for four Navy shipmates who weren’t flying home to their families. It was the first time I used my oven to make anything in my small apartment. However the food turned out edible and we all had a wonderful time together. What a blessing it was to have each other’s company, eat turkey and wine – to have a Navy family while we were thousands of miles away from our family.
Gratitude – appreciating the goodness in our lives – particularly in the midst of a world turned upside down by an unrelenting pandemic may be difficult. However, the practice of gratitude is a blessing of its own. Researchers have observed its effects with changing the brain’s circuitry bringing more joy and satisfaction in your life.
How else does gratitude affect our well-being?
- Helps with reducing stress
- Lowers anxiety
- Moves you away from toxic emotions
I have a framed quote that says the following:
Gratitude turns what we have into enough”
It’s a wonderful reminder when I’m going through rough days and I tell myself to focus on the good when my mind wanders off to toxic thoughts (which causes toxic emotions). To appreciate the blessings I presently have.
A Daily Dose of Gratitude
Do you have a daily gratitude practice? What are some ways you can bring more appreciation into your life? I’ll help you come up with three!
- Journaling – if you know me, I’m a big fan of journaling. I’ve collected 20+ journals over the years since I started writing in one as a teenager. One of my favorite journals with a prompt for gratitude is the Five Minute Journal*. You start your day by filling in “I am grateful for…” . The more specific, the better!
- After-school activity with kids. Instead of asking, ‘How was your day?’ because the usual robotic answer from my girls is “Good”, I started asking them ‘What or Who made you smile today?” It makes them remember and appreciate what happened in school that made them feel good.
- Goodnight routine. The minute after I lay in bed, I say a prayer of gratitude. I do this with my youngest daughter as well when I lay with her in bed.
Appreciate life’s blessings by starting and ending your day with gratitude. An easy and simple practice that makes a world of difference to your well-being.
What’s your favorite way to practice gratitude?
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If you’re looking for great gift ideas, this one’s a winner! 🙂