Thanksgiving afternoon… you have had your turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and all the fixings. You have had pie (apple and pumpkin). Right about now you are thankful your pants still fit:)
Isn’t there something more to this Holiday. Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to slow down and take stock of what is really important in your life. So before the meal, or right after, while everyone is still seated, invite each guest to state something that they are thankful for. Pay special attention to the responses of the very young–their honesty may prove to be very enlightening. Gratitude can help us stop taking our life for granted. It can free us from petty annoyances and inspire us to think of other people. So why just limit ourselves to Thanksgiving? Here are a couple of suggestions to keep the good thoughts flowing throughout all the holidays and into the new year:
1) Accept, acknowledge, appreciate–try to remember the 3 A’s. They should replace the 3 C’s. Complaining, Condemning, and Criticizing. The 3 A’s will get us much farther in developing positive relationships with co-workers, friends and family:)
2) Do something for someone else–Yes, it truly is one of the best feelings. Volunteer your services, help someone in need, give advice when you’ve been through it…the rewards will be immeasurable.
3) Put it all in perspective–It is often easy to lose perspective on exactly how much we DO have. It is easy to feel LESS than satisfied with your lot in life as you watch your neighbors drive up in a new car, go on an exotic vacation, and get a new remodeled kitchen…These expenses do not always equate to happiness. Remember that what you “have” is always greater than what you “need”. Don’t worry about “keeping up with the Jones’ “…and try not to compare yourself to others…You are where you are for a reason! Strive to keep up with yourself:)
4) Focus on the positive–Keeping a positive outlook on life WILL change your entire perspective, as people have a tendency to remember the bad things as vividly as the good. One way to solve this problem is to keep a gratitude journal that differs from a traditional journal by only containing positive entries. Also, try to remember what good things came out of a seemingly bad event, such as a difficult experience that brought you and a friend closer. You are where you need to be for right now…stay positive and your next good thing will come:)