Today is Thanksgiving, a public holiday in America.  I think it’s wonderful that Americans choose to spend a day giving thanks, although it’s turned into somewhat of an opportunity to indulge and consume.

But I’m not going to complain and campaign about that.  I want to bring it back to gratitude.  Around the holidays, it’s easy for us to think of what we haven’t got, rather than what we have.  For me, being single feels especially hard at this time of year – another Christmas looming, and the thought of dinner with the family with no partner to share it with, can send me down a familiar spiral of self-pity. 

You may not have as much money as you’d like to spend buying gifts for your loved ones, and again, get into the mindset that says “I don’t have enough; I wish I had more”. 

Or you may compare yourself to others, and come out ‘less than’ each time.

The amazing thing about gratitude is that when we consciously choose to focus on what we have, no matter how small, or little, and be grateful for these things, our emotional state changes for the better, and all of a sudden the world, or our world, doesn’t look so bad. 

 TRY THIS: 

Write a gratitude list of all the things you are grateful for today.  Come up with at least six things on your list.  At least! Write a new list every day for 7 days and notice how you feel about yourself and life as the days progress.

For example, if you’re single, and bemoaning the fact, think of 3 things that you can be grateful for about being single; it could be that you’ve been able to make some choices for yourself without having to consult a partner; or you don’t have to see their smelly socks on the bathroom floor for the hundredth time, or that you’ve had the time and space to learn to love yourself in the absence of another person loving you.

If you don’t have as much money as you’d like, think of 3 things you’re grateful for that your money does buy you – food, shelter, water. 

Think of your friends, what you’ve been able to give, and receive.

There is so much to be grateful for that if you practice writing a gratitude list each day, I promise you that you will always come up with something new.  It could be as simple as someone holding a door open for you, or smiling at you on the tube.

Give thanks for the fact that you lived through this day – you may not have done it as gracefully as you would have liked, but you did your best, and that is something to be grateful for.  Someone who tries their best is a darn good person to be, so be grateful for who you are, today.

Happy Thanksgiving! 


 Photo credit: Stoper / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND