“We know, and we agree: Listing what you’re thankful for in 2020 can feel like an uphill battle. There have been plenty of stressful, uncertain periods, and we’ve all experienced loss in some way.But as psychologist Yvonne Thomas, PhD, puts it, practicing gratitude regularly is always vital for our mental health — and Thanksgiving is an annual reminder to create a ritual. “Too often, when someone is going through a tough time, it’s easy to forget, minimize or take for granted what is good in their life. When this happens, you can end up feeling depressed, anxious, hopeless, sad, jealous or angry,” she says.
But when we focus on the positives, it’s easier to see the whole picture, creating a calmer and happier spirit. You can sort of think of your thankfulness practice as a reality check that counterbalances negative thoughts, feelings or beliefs. Thomas recommends beginning your Thanksgiving Day gratitude session by taking 10 minutes to think about what you’re grateful for consciously. “Try to not just think about this, but make a point of feeling the emotions associated with what you realized you are grateful for,” she says.
It can also be helpful, she adds, to write down this list in a journal or type it on your phone in the notes section. “By putting the gratitude in words, you are concretizing who and what you are thankful for, which might help you feel your emotions on a deeper level,” she says. To take it a step further, you can share those tokens of appreciation with others by texting a friend, calling up a relative or making a point to thank fellow dinner guests in person (or, you know, via FaceTime) during the Thanksgiving meal.”
Yvonne Thomas is a psychologist In Los Angeles. To read the full article “5 Things To Do Thanksgiving Morning To Feel Healthier All Day” visit livestrong.com