Thanksgiving marks the time of the year when we all try to slow down a bit and think about the things that make us thankful. During this time of reflection and as the year comes to a close, we also may take the time to make an effort to show our gratitude towards the things and people who surround us. Expressing gratitude is a “no brainer” for some, but extremely difficult for others. If you’re not big on being thankful, you may want to reconsider.
Being Thankful During Hard Times
Expressing thankfulness can be particularly challenging when life is stressful. Stress can make you feel alone and even envious of other people’s situations. If you can, however, find some silver lining in your situation it might actually reduce the stress and emotional roller coaster.
Take a divorce or a custody battle, for instance. As Charles Ullman, North Carolina divorce lawyer states, “Divorce is not only emotionally difficult, it is a complex process.” During complex legal battles, it’s hard to be thankful. However, look hard at the situation.
Maybe you or your spouse is facing an ex in court and while that’s stressful and emotional, you still have some custodial rights for your children. It may not be the custody you had hoped for, but try to be thankful for the amount you are able to have.
Be a Role Model
If you expect your child or stepchild to practice gratitude, you must pave the way.
Whether you are grabbing a latte at the local coffeehouse, withdrawing money at the bank or receive a compliment on your jacket, express gratitude and mean what you say. Even if you feel obligated to say it, the more you say “thanks”, the more likely you are to believe the power of your words.
Improve Your Life
Some of the most physically and mentally healthy individuals have an “attitude of gratitude” or an overall positive outlook. These thankful people may still have daily struggles with money, health, marriage and employment, but because they look at their lives a little differently they are more positive. Positivity isn’t always easy to express, but start small and expand.
For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by your bills or house repairs, try to find some gratitude in your situation such as being thankful you can pay your bills or happy your repairs can be addressed. It’s true that some days we can’t always look through rose colored glasses, but the more you practice gratitude, the better you will feel. People who practice gratitude regularly sleep better, are more likely to have healthy relationships, have a strong sense of self and have good health overall.
Before Thanksgiving and the end of the year rolls around, get a start on practicing gratitude early. Share your gratitude with the people in your life; you may inspire them to do the same.
Thanksgiving is this Thursday yet the focus seems to be on the Black Friday sales the day after. Have we forgotten the spiritual significance of this holiday? Click here to get a refresher.