As the Thanksgiving season approaches we can’t help but recognize the many things in our life that we are appreciative for. When asked to contemplate what you’re thankful for, your responses may be obvious: your family and friends, your job, and the roof over your head. Although these things are clearly important to recognize and to be extremely thankful for, what if we challenged ourselves to delve deeper into the appreciation of life? This Thanksgiving, transform your day of stuffing and apple pie into an entire season of being grateful with these tips.
Practice What You Preach
No matter what your answer to the annual “What are you thankful for?” question is at the dinner table, you’ve already addressed a key component in expressing gratitude: realizing what you have to be thankful for. We should never take our blessings for granted. However, sometimes just listing things isn’t enough. This Thanksgiving, try to “practice what you preach.” For example, if you say you’re thankful for your family, try a little harder to spend more time with them. Listen to how their day was, make them dinner, or write a heartfelt letter to one or all of your family members detailing what makes them so special and why you’re lucky to have them. If you rave about how appreciative you are for your education, try focusing more in class, working harder on assignments, or thanking your teacher for everything they’ve done.
Spot the Small Stuff
Dive deeper into your usual list of thanks by taking time to recognize things to be thankful for that may not be so obvious. Look at what you have that can be easily taken for granted or things you may find yourself comparing to something “better.” Often times, things we are accustomed to having and using on an everyday basis can be easily overlooked and taken for granted. It is also very easy to desire the “next best thing.” Nothing is wrong with wanting more or nicer things, but you will never be truly satisfied if you don’t appreciate what you have now. During this Thanksgiving season, take note of the less recognized blessings in life.
Volunteer at a Local Charity
Nothing will make you appreciate what you have more than realizing the daily struggle that others face simply trying to survive. Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen or shelter to gain a new perspective. There may be things you become grateful for that you may have never realized. Volunteering your time will hopefully make you feel fulfillment as you make a difference for the less fortunate this Thanksgiving.
When we think about major aspects of our lives for which we can be grateful, sometimes we forget one of the most crucial of them all: where we live. We live in a country where our freedom is prioritized and protected. Show thanks to those who make this possible by risking their lives everyday. Sending a care package or writing a letter of appreciation is a great way to show thanks. Also remember to always recognize and thank active members of the military as well as veterans, your words will go a long way.
Hopefully these tips have inspired you to make the most out of this Thanksgiving! There are so many ways to express your attitude of gratitude now and all year long. Dig a little deeper, and really show your appreciation with these 4 ideas!