Thanksgiving Day is one of those holidays that I didn’t have growing up but was more than happy to welcome. I actually started writing this post about a year ago when I was in the process of setting up this blog and this was my draft/practice post that never got published because by the time I finished the site set up the timing wasn’t right anymore, although is there really such thing as a bad timing to feel grateful?
It’s funny that for the last few years expressing gratitude has become something very essential to me, the draft from last year’s post said: “I personally don’t need one specific day to feel grateful as I do thank Universe pretty much everyday for all the great things and people that I have in my life but it’s always good to remember to do that and if having designated day for that helps us make conscious effort to be thankful, why not?”. It’s so true yet I never thought of consciously expressing gratitude before. I would be happy when good stuff happened and I always was appreciative of all the simple little things but I never thought about consciously acknowledging the things I am grateful for.
The first time I practiced expressing gratitude was about 3,5 years ago when I took my first ever yoga class. One of the suggestions made by the teacher was to think of something you are incredibly grateful for. During that moment few different things went through my head, I picked one and thought of how amazing it was that it happened. In that moment I felt everything from butterflies in my stomach to goose bumps on my skin to tears filling my eyes. From then on thinking of things I am grateful for kind of became a part of my night routine. Once I tuck myself in and before I fall asleep, I would thank the Universe for all these amazing things, people, moments that I have and experience. Sometimes I fall asleep half way through because I am so tired or even before I get to think about it but it’s okay cause the next morning I’d be grateful for the good night’s sleep:)
Expressing gratitude could be a little difficult at first, you just don’t know where to begin. I usually start with the most basic but very important things. I am grateful to be alive, I am grateful for my health, I am grateful that everyone in my family is safe and sound, I am grateful to have a family in the first place and so on, and so on. The more you think about it, the more things come to your mind and sometimes it’s even difficult to stop. Later on you can start acknowledging smaller things like I am grateful for taking a hot shower in the morning, I am grateful for an easy drive to work with no traffic, I am grateful for the healthy and delicious breakfast I had today, etc.
Some people say it’s easy to be grateful when everything in your life is going great, but trust me we all have our struggles and someone’s seemingly perfect life might be not perfect at all. One of the greatest gifts of being human is the ability to choose what to focus on. When you express gratitude you choose to focus on the good things no matter what might be going on in your life. And the results are incredible.
The feeling of gratitude is one of the most amazing emotions ever and it’s so powerful! Regardless of what happens on the outside if you’re calm and peaceful on the inside, you can handle anything.
Here’s weekly challenge for you, try to think of 5 things you are grateful for every day this week or better write them down, it can be anything from those essential things as health, family, relationships to the song that instantly puts you in a good mood, to warm cozy bed you sleep in to delicious Thanksgiving meal you are about to eat:)
The things I am grateful for today are: my wonderful husband who’s always been a great support to me, our healthy and happy baby Alaric, the opportunity to spend a day at home with my boys eating delicious food that I am about to make and enjoy lots of cuddles and playtime with Alaric, quiet sunny morning and time to write this blog post, and a walk outside right before the sun goes down which is one of our favorite things to do as a family.
Feel free to share in the commentswhat do you feel grateful for, do you practice expressing gratitude at all, what’s the most challenging for you, I’d love to hear from you.
Have a wonderful day and Happy Thanksgiving!
*The photo is from our last year’s Friendsgiving, another great occasion to be thankful for:)
Here is an update on how we spend Thanksgiving 2015:)