By Abby Larson
͞Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings͟ –William Arthur Ward
As Thanksgiving arrives we gear up for the one day a year where it is mandated that we remember our blessings. This holiday can be a mixed bag depending on one’s life. It can bring up warm and fuzzy memories, or heighten existing tensions. It can bring about feelings of togetherness, or complete isolation. No matter how you feel about your past Thanksgiving experiences, I challenge you to find new perspective this season.
We all have the opportunity to choose gratitude and joy, no matter what our past Thanksgivings have looked like. We are all deserving of friendship, hope, and peace. As you prepare to celebrate your Thanksgiving Day traditions, remind yourself to live every day like it is Thanksgiving Day. Recognize your blessings, talents, and achievements. Celebrate those you love, and tell them how you feel. Forget the stresses of Black Friday shopping, or what you are going to make for your holiday dinner and reflect on the joys of this past year. In other words: Cultivate daily gratitude.
Here are three different ways to encourage daily thanksgiving:
-Make it a daily habit
Whether it be a morning walk, or a daily yoga practice, find time in your day to actively engage with your surroundings. Work hard, sweat it out, and challenge yourself. You’ll find joy in pushing new boundaries, and setting new goals. Practice with the simple intention of thankfulness and see how full of life you’ll feel!
-celebrate with people often
Instead of ͞saving the good china͟ for once a year use, embrace the idea that every meal shared with those you love is a party. You can cook, order-in, or even go out to eat, it doesn’t matter! Cherish time spent with loved ones, and don’t feel like you have to throw a party to get together to celebrate your friendships. Sometimes conversation held over a casual cup of coffee or a bowl of ramen noodles is more meaningful than any elaborate dinner party you could have thrown.
-establish an intentionally grateful mindset
Meditation is an incredible way to focus inwardly and reflect on what is most important in your life. Make time in your day to slow down, breathe deeply, and feel gratitude towards yourself, your loved ones, your place in this expansive universe, all you’ve been given, and all that is yet to come.