It helps you to focus on the good things in life and lessons learnedTaking time to reflect on what you are thankful for shifts the mind from a stressful, negative, “why can’t things be better” attitude to a positive perspective. You will likely find you have many things for which to be thankful. Lately I have been annoyed by a series of stressors (mostly minor) that have left me feeling frustrated. I realized I was giving way too much airtime to these pestie problems. So, I decided to reflect on and give thanks for the good things in my life. It has helped immensely! My stress level decreased and my attitude is more positive. In anticipation of Thanksgiving Day, think about the good things in your life. What lessons did you learn this year? What are you thankful for that you would like to dish out this year to others? [Tweet “In anticipation of Thanksgiving Day, think about the good things in your life. What are you thankful for that you would like to share with others?”]
It helps you understand and appreciate what others are experiencingMore often in families people talk about things on the surface: movies or TV shows, sports, cooking tips, shopping, restaurants, vacation trips, etc… For whatever reason, families spend less time talking about personal issues. Yet, taking time during dinner to express thankfulness allows others to understand and appreciate what you’re learning. In our family, gratitude sometimes comes out of a trial or difficult experience. We have suffered the loss of family members who died early in life. Others have faced health problems or relationship hardship. When you hear people share their stories, lessons learned, and gratitude in the midst of suffering, it gives you a deeper appreciation and respect for them. Expressing gratitude does not require you to go deep. It can be something small yet meaningful you learned. I like to be reminded to be thankful for the simple things in life too. In our family sometimes thankfulness is expressed with humor that has everyone laughing!
It brings families together in a more caring and supportive wayWhen people open up it draws others in more closely. Isn’t this what a family Thanksgiving dinner is meant to do? Thankfulness sets a caring and supportive tone at the dinner table. One of things I enjoy is seeing family members encourage and support each other after we dish out thankfulness. Validation from family members always follows. It usually comes in the form of encouraging words and hugs. The atmosphere is buzzing with love, laughter, and happiness.
It strengthens the bonds in the familyWhen you dish out thankfulness it will strengthen the bond in your family. Do you ever wonder if people in your family appreciate you? If so, you are not alone. I hear this a lot. Truth be told, I have felt that way before too! One of the most powerful moments in our family is when a family member looks at another and surprises them by saying how thankful they are for that person. It is really special when a challenging teenager says in front of all the relatives how much he/she appreciate his/her parents. Moments like that cut right through to the heart and heal hurts. Adding the dish of thankfulness to our banquet table has been truly remarkable. It has strengthened the bonds in our family in ways we did not expect. Four generations now exist in our family. The little ones are learning this tradition. It is the favorite dish on our table.
Now It’s Your TurnDo you have a Thanksgiving tradition that you do in your family? If so, I’d love to hear it. You can comment below or leave it on one of my social media sites. Maybe this blog has sparked an idea or two in your mind. If your family is more reserved, perhaps you can do a slightly different version. Here’s an example: “In one sentence, share one thing you are thankful for this year.”
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