Have you ever stopped to think about what Thanksgiving truly meant? That the stress of making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, having the juiciest turkey, the most beautiful centerpieces, and having the most outstanding pumpkin pie really does not matter? Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratitude, giving thanks and appreciating what we have in our lives.
Although the meal is definitely something to be excited about, we need to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving, because if that turkey burns, the mashed potatoes taste horrible and you forget to make the stuffing, Thanksgiving is about gratitude; not the food.
Although we associate gratitude with Thanksgiving, this is not the only time of the year to express how grateful we are. Being grateful has several benefits that can lead to a healthy, happy lifestyle. Remembering to be positive only encourages a brighter future. We cannot live by dwindling in our misfortunes, grieving in our failures and obsessing on our faults. If you look at life through a pessimistic eye, your life will always be surrounded by darkness. So if that turkey comes out too dry, instead of thinking “I ruined Thanksgiving,” think “it’s ok. I have my family here and the gravy is excellent!”
Here are some tips to make sure your life is full of gratitude, both in the workplace and at home:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Every day, focus on what you are grateful for. Remember the positive things that happen each day, and when you are feeling blue, read that gratitude journal. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel afterwards.
- Recognize the people around you. Let the people around you know that you appreciate them. By reminding people that you appreciate them, that you are thankful for their help or that you believe they are doing a fantastic job, you can potentially make their day a little brighter.
- Reflect on your successes. Not every day is going to be the greatest, but there will always be something to be grateful for each day. Reflect on the small successes – may it be making it on time to work, finally finishing a project, being able to read your child’s A+ paper, and so on. There is always something positive; sometimes you just have to find it even when everything else seems to be going wrong.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and never be afraid to let someone know that you are thankful.
“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.” – Berry Neil Kaufman