This may seem like an unpopular opinion, but just hear me out.
Thanksgiving kind of bugs me.
My social media feeds are flooded with people posting the perfect photo and rambling on and on about being grateful.
Super. Awesome. Great. But what about the other 364 days of the year? I know so many pause to express what they are thankful for on Thanksgiving and then poof! It's gone the next day.
It's much easier to be negative and ungrateful. It takes way less energy and thought to play the "why me?" card and feel like the world is against you.
But where does that get you? Unhappy, feeling sorry for yourself and jealous of others. (On a side note - I'd love to remove the word 'jealous' from existence.)
Trust me, I could spiral and really get down about certain things in my life. If you're unfamiliar with my story, in a nutshell, I am a widow whose husband took his life after a long battle with depression and anxiety and I am now raising a non-verbal, deaf, Autistic son alone. It sounds harsh to put it like that in one sentence, but that could be where my spiral started, if I let it.
But I don't.
I read a quote once that really shifted things for me. Rhonda Byrne says, "“It’s impossible to feel sad or have any negative feeling when you’re grateful. If you’re in the midst of a difficult situation, look for something to be grateful for.”
Boom. A lightbulb. Simply but actively acknowledging what you are grateful for every single day will shift things for you as it did for me. I make myself, out loud, list five things I am grateful for, every single day. On really rough days it can be as simple as "I am grateful I can breathe" or "I am grateful I have a job that pays for a home and food" or "I am grateful for fresh air". Yes, sometimes I am grateful for air. Whatever gets me through the day! Some days it is very difficult to think of five things, but I sit until I can. Instead of focussing on what you don't have, focus on gratitude. Get your kids or friends in on it. It doesn't have to be elaborate but this daily act really puts things into perspective. Once I have come up with five things (and quite often it leads to more) I feel a sense of peace and warm. Things aren't as bad as we can make them out to be in our spiralling, comparing, jealous minds.
The Five Minute Journal I am writing in above really got the ball rolling for me. I would say it takes less than five minutes every day but forces you to list a few things morning and night. (I've written a whole post about it.) So if you are looking for a more structured method, I highly recommend it.
Ugh it sounds so cheesy, but try to make every day Thanksgiving. (Minus the food coma!)