It’s another Thanksgiving and while most people are thinking about turkey, myself included, this year I’ll also be thinking about gratitude.
Thanksgiving was originally a celebration of the harvest feast back in 1621, but it’s also a time when we can reflect on what we’re thankful for (besides the turkey).
I’m doing that this year because I started practicing gratitude over the summer, and it has really changed my outlook. One day, I was feeling kind of down, and I read about the scientific benefits of gratitude, so I decided to try it. At first I thought something so simple would never work, but within days, it actually made me feel better. The more I did it, the better I felt.
Now, every day, I write down one thing I’m grateful for. It can be small, like the weather is perfect or I’m having my favorite breakfast or we got an extra free period at school. Or it can be big, like I’m grateful that the drunk driver who was swerving didn’t hit my car, or I’m grateful that my aunt’s cancer treatment worked, or I’m just grateful for my family in general. I can be grateful for an easy test, for something a friend said that made me laugh, for a TV show I love, or for my dog sitting next to me while I do homework.
By adding one thing I’m grateful for each day, I’ve created a list of over a hundred things that matter to me. Whenever I’m having a hard day, I can just look at the list and see how much I actually have to be thankful for. Also writing down the one thing, taking a second to think about what I’m grateful for, makes me happier and helps me not to lose perspective if something goes wrong that day.
So this Thanksgiving, while appreciating your delicious meal, think about it: what else are you thankful for? Then every day, write down one thing, and see if doing this makes you happier overall, like it did for me.