‘Tis the season to give thanks!
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and it’s a perfect time to talk about gratitude.
Last week I posted about holiday stress and how being grateful and staying positive can help manage stress. I also made up my mind that I wasn’t going to give in to the pressures of the holiday season.
Well, we’ve recently added some additional potential stress to the season: we’re moving! Rick took a new position in a new city, so we’ve already started the moving process. Also, due to relocating, I’ll be out of a job at the end of December. So I’ve started searching for new employment. So much excitement and change!
We’re juggling a lot right now, and there are many things about this move that are unknowns to us. Usually that would really stress me out, and some days I’ve already felt stressed to the max. But I don’t want these anxious feelings to consume me.
One of my strategies to get through this exciting and potentially stressful time of change is to practice gratitude. Here are a few ideas I have to help me with this goal, and they might work well for you, too:
4 Ways to Practice Gratitude:
1. Create a gratitude journal or jar. Think about the things in your day that you are thankful for. Reimagine the situations and how you felt. Try to get specific. Then, write these situations down in a journal.
You could also write them on small slips of paper and put them in a jar. I did this once and read through the slips in the jar at the year’s end. It was so nice to remember these awesome situations, and I felt so blessed! You could also do this and read through the jar weekly or monthly.
2. Reframe negative experiences into more positive ones. Think about the good things that will come out of a seemingly bad situation.
At first, I freaked out about Rick getting a new job. I have to find a new job. We have to move in the cold weather. We don’t know where we’re going to live.
Then I thought about past experiences, and I felt much more hopeful about our situation. I am grateful for my excellent job skills and experience I’ve developed, and I should be able to find a good job. I might even find a job I really enjoy! I’ve moved almost every year since I started college. I’m thankful for that experience because I’m basically a pro by now. And what a great opportunity to declutter!
3. Praise God. At the end of the day, find at least 5 things you are grateful for and thank God for them. Again, get specific and try to reimagine these situations. Maybe it was something big like a promotion or an A on a test. Maybe it was the warmth of the sun on your lunchtime walk or only a small amount of traffic on your commute. Thank God for these gifts.
4. Give a genuine compliment daily. Tell people how good they are at what they do. Thank them for helping you with an unpleasant task. What do you appreciate about your spouse, friend, coworker, etc.? Let him or her know.
It’s important to recognize the wonderful things we have and to appreciate the people around us. When we take time to count our blessing and show gratitude, we experience more joy and less stress.
Happy Thanksgiving, all! What are you grateful for today?