5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Gratitude This Thanksgiving
Last year, thousands of people in America skipped our usual in-person holiday celebrations. Now, after nearly two years of social distancing, we are poised to join celebrations once again. Unfortunately, the news is primarily negative these days, is filled with stories about inflation, possible trouble at the airports, and shortages of traditional holiday items. Unfortunately, this is where we find ourselves currently.
I am planning on having a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with some family and friends! While we are vaccinated, we will take a break from all the bad news and turn our hearts toward Heaven and each other with a profound sense of gratitude.
To help you, here are 5 proven ways to boost your gratitude this thanksgiving. These are things you can do this week to embrace the idea of gratitude, having a thankful heart.
Here are the 5 Proven Ways to Boost Your Gratitude this Thanksgiving
- Jot Down Your Joys
In our digital age, many of us have allowed our penmanship to go the way of the Dodo bird. Unfortunately, we could be losing one of the best ways to manage our emotions and keep ourselves centered. Check out my article Journal Your Way to Better Health.
Ready? Begin with a list.
- One place that is safe and relaxes you
- One thing that is going well in your life/family
- Three things that bring you joy and pleasure
- Three things you are looking forward to
- Two people you love and who love you
- Make You Mealtimes More Mindful.
When was the last time you took a moment to observe the bounty on your table? For centuries, grace before meals has been a ritualized way of pausing and expressing gratitude for the meal before us.
This is one that I grew up with. “Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
And the standby children’s classic, “God is great, God is good, Let us thank him for our food; By his hand, we are being fed, Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.”
British author and lay theologian G.K. Chesterton said it best. “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in ink.” In other words, we can’t over-grace.
2. Count Blessing Instead of Sheep
We all know that counting our blessings instead of sheep sounds incredible. However, it may also be scientific. Research suggests expressing gratitude before going to bed ensures more restful sleep.
3. Stop and Savor
Have you ever noticed how fast you tend to eat? For example, a friend and I enjoyed a delicious and somewhat pricey steak at the Claim Jumper in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, as I enjoyed my rare cut, he said, “Have you ever noticed how much slower you eat a steak at this place than at Golden Corral?”
I cracked up. He made a valid point. The higher the quality and value of a meal, the more time you take to eat that meal. The more you savor it.
One of the most accessible tools we use as we continue to look at ways to overcome depression and lower anxiety is to savor pleasant memories, past answers to prayer, a meaningful Scripture verse, and treasured encouraging words spoken to you. When we purposefully reflect on these types of good, positive things, our brains begin to move toward health.
A recent study shows the simple act of smiling can change the way you feel—regardless of why you are smiling. Have you ever noticed that when you smile, most people will return it? Here are six more benefits of smiling:
- Smiling helps you live longer
- It relieves stress
- A big smile can be an instant mood booster
- It reduces pain
- It makes you look and feel more attractive
- May make others wonder what you are up to
A component of thankfulness is sharing with others, and donations are an excellent way to achieve this. What’s more: it’s not just money that organizations are looking for. Donating gently used home goods and clothes to your favorite charity is just as important as cash donations.
I hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with joy, gratitude, and great memories!
Drop me a comment and let me know which ones worked for you.
A bit of Ancient Wisdom
Give thanks to God—he is good
And his love never quits.
1 Chronicles 16:34 The Message
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