Research shows happy people are more grateful people. This is why I speak about it in my book 52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally
We often forget to be grateful during our busy lives, so here are two exercises that will help you open yourself up to the wondrous beauty around you this Thanksgiving weekend.
I want you to write yourself a thank-you letter. Make this letter personal as if you’re writing it to one of your favourite people. Include all of your strengths and unique qualities – big or small – that you’re proud of. For example you could write “Thank you so much for making it to the gym and working out these past months. I’m so grateful you cut down on coffee, that you quit smoking, or that you never picked up smoking. I’m thankful you broke up with your ex that treated you so badly six months ago. I’m so grateful you apologized to that person. I’m grateful you went back to school and left that job. I’m thankful you took that risk, etc.”
We’re so good at thanking other people when they overcome obstacles, we often forget or don’t think to thank ourselves for the decisions we make and the actions we do. So I want you to take the time to look within and connect with your goodness and thank yourself.
The second exercise is to deeply reflect on this year so far. Every Thanksgiving is a different year; there will never be another 2013 Thanksgiving, ever. Even if you’re spending this Thanksgiving at home alone, if you’re divorced or the kids are away for the first time, things may look different and this weekend may even be a little lonely for you. Despite circumstances, you can shift your mood by finding the good in the present moment.
I’d like you to reflect and review 2013 so far. You have lived the past 10 months in 2013, what pleasant surprises have happened so far? What are you proud of? What good has happened this year? Did you take up yoga? End a bad relationship? Move out? Read a book that made a difference? Get promoted? Find the perfect roommate? Buy a new car? Find a new love?
Take inventory, in this moment, of how your life is better than it was 10 months ago. Allthese changes might be forgotten otherwise. Stop and enjoy the positive. Take the time to realize the good that you’ve achieved and be thankful to yourself for allowing you to get to where you are. Where you are, right now, is exactly where you are suppose to be. So breathe it in and enjoy it. Surround yourself with this positivity and help it carry you and make you thankful this Thanksgiving. Always take the time to look back because as the year comes to an end, it’ll feel like a better year if you start to notice how great it’s been thus far.