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Easy Ways to be Grateful this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here and that means the race is officially on. First comes shopping, prepping, and cooking for the biggest, most Martha-Stewart-worthy Thanksgiving dinner your family has ever seen, then you have to stay up and snap up the best Black Friday deals, then comes dusting off all your Christmas decorations and stringing them up to match the Pinterest boards you’ve been crafting all year long. Second put on your warrior paint and game face because you have to search high and low for the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone, and then surprise! It’s already New Year’s Eve, you have to find something glamorous and fun to do to bring in the new year, but wait the countdown to midnight is winding down and you’re like...woah. Take a deep breath. Slow down.

The holidays often have a way of getting away from us, starting with Thanksgiving. It’s become too easy to focus on the stress, the shopping, the money, the “hurry-up-and-celebrate” attitude that makes us feel like we're missing out on something. With our world feeling like it’s moving far more rapidly than before, there is no better time to slow down and celebrate the true spirit of Thanksgiving than right now.

You cannot spell Thanksgiving without “giving thanks”. It’s built right into the word. Gratitude, appreciation, and love are what this holiday is truly about. Thanksgiving is the time to focus on all the positives in your life, both big and small, instead of the negative.

These days it's too easy to find the negatives in your life. Social media has opened the door to easily judge others and compare our lives to people we don't even know. It can breed resentment and jealousy when we see what things others have that we don’t. These feelings have no place in your heart this Thanksgiving. Instead of the negatives, search for the positives in your life. They are easy to find once you start looking.

Living with gratitude doesn’t mean you have to plaster on a fake smile and say everything is wonderful all the time when it isn’t. Living with gratitude means you accept the things you have, cherish the people in your life, and remember all the blessings you have. Simply having the things many of us already take for granted - a home, a bed, loved ones surrounding us, food on the table - are things worth taking the time to be grateful for.

Remembering to give thanks for what you have makes you feel good. Scientists have proven expressing gratitude makes you happier, more content, and increase your self-esteem. Adopting gratitude into your everyday life is not just good for your mental and emotional health - it’s good for your physical health. Being grateful has been linked to better sleep, lower blood pressure, and living a longer life.

There are easy things you can do to make this Thanksgiving your most grateful one yet. All you have to do is choose to focus on the good stuff. Say thank you. Count your blessings. Express your appreciation for others. Stay off social media for a little while and be in the present moment with your family and loved ones around you, being thankful for all the things you have.

What are your tips for showing gratitude during Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below :)

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