Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it focuses on a simple and powerful practice, appreciation. Appreciation for all that has come to us, all those we love and all possibilities that we desire. Being thankful daily is an antidote for stress and all things negative that can damage our well-being. More than the Macy’s Parade, great food and football, true thanksgiving is an internal experience.
In my work as an executive coach, I’m aware of the power of the mental models people hold and how it affects their happiness. If you think it’s a good day only when something you perceive as good happens to you, you will spend a lot of time disappointed. Stop to appreciate and be thankful for even the simplest things or for just being alive and your life will change. Thankfulness impacts the neuroplasticity of our brains – what we think, do and pay attention to changes our brain chemistry.
Start by being thankful daily. It is a simple and powerful practice. Like any practice, being thankful works best when it becomes part of your routine – when you get out of bed, when you pray, when you’re driving to an appointment – whatever works for you. The key is that thankfulness becomes like brushing your teeth, a daily habit. For more extensive ways to shift your emotions and build a positive mindset, I highly recommend the book, Search Inside Yourself by Chad-Meng Tan.
On Thanksgiving and every day, build a few moments of thanksgiving into your daily routine. Start now and by next year when the big Thanksgiving Day comes around again, I guarantee your life will be enhanced. Thankfulness breeds happiness. Ultimately, most of us want to be happy. We also want that for our loved ones.