Make Every Day a Thanks- Giving Day
Thanksgiving is arguably the biggest celebration in the USA and Canada – going back to the earliest pilgrims who were giving thanks to God for the first harvest after surviving a long ocean journey and setting up home in a new land. Having survived a full year they wanted to celebrate with the Harvest of their labor. So the ritual of turkey and pumpkin pie – and all things good are now a national tradition on this special holiday – but what happens on the other 364 days of the year?
When we feel overwhelmed with life’s tasks and responsibilities we tend to focus on what is not going well in life – too much work, too little money, not enough time, the house is a mess, people didn’t complete their projects on time or budget and so on.
We are so accustomed to sharing our moaning stories we do not even think of the good news happy stories. When we only focus on what is going wrong and stressing us our brain releases more cortisol a stress hormone. When we have a lot of this hormone in our system we find it difficult to get upbeat about life, focus on work, or enjoy the simplest of pleasures.
This is when a client would come to me with “I cannot stand my life” – “Something has to change…” – “Nothing seems to be working out…”.
There are a number of things to consider and explore when we feel like this. What we eat, the quality of our sleep; are we getting any exercise; do we have some relaxation time with friends and family to name a few.
But one of the most transformational steps to counter the stress we experience is by noticing what is going well.
In the midst of all the negatives and stressors that appear to be clouding your life, I invite my client to reflect on the last week and think of something that has made them smile from deep within.
Time and time again it is a small thing such as a cute comment from a child or a surprise visit, or someone unexpectedly completing a task you didn’t think they would, is enough to stop us in our tracks of doom and gloom.
When we remember a positive experience we also re-experience the joy of that moment and our brain gives us a different hormone boost. A release of serotonin which we initially experienced in the moment of that positive experience.
By creating a Thanksgiving or Gratitude journal we can develop a ritual for 5 minutes before going to bed to jot down what went well in the day.
Looking for one thing per day is an achievable task – and before you know it often you will find more than one!
Shifting what we focus on is the start of transforming our brain chemistry and the joy factor in our lives. When we do this consistently its as if we are looking at the world through a new pair of spectacles – through the lens of thanksgiving. We feel different, and we behave differently and over time we experience life differently too.
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MAKE EVERY DAY A THANKS-GIVING DAY