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Thursday, September 12, 2024

How Older Adults Can Practice Gratefulness Ahead of Thanksgiving

2020 brought significant challenges for most of us, but as we approach Thanksgiving, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on the good that has entered your life this year. These could be small acts of kindness you’ve experienced or large feelings of joy; both should be acknowledged and reflected on. Here’s how to practice gratefulness ahead of Thanksgiving:

Write Down One Thing You’re Grateful for Each Day

It’s no secret that journaling is a great way to document your emotions, reflect on life experiences and learn from yourself. If you don’t have time to write a long entry every day, that’s okay. Start small — write down one thing you’re grateful for each day. This easily formable habit has significant benefits including that it:

  • Boosts mood by helping you focus on positive, rather than negative emotions.
  • Improves self-esteem by allowing you to reflect on personal achievements or things that went well for you that day.
  • Helps with better sleep by ensuring you’ve reflected on your day, which means you’ll be less likely to worry about the day’s challenges as you try to sleep.
  • Reduces stress will occur naturally once you start to notice the improvements in mood, self-esteem and stress.

Whether you’re grateful for the delicious meal you had or that you got to catch up with a family member or friend, this is a great habit to form ahead of Thanksgiving.

Tell Others Why You’re Thankful for Them

The ageless rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” holds true when giving people compliments. Everyone appreciates receiving praise for their actions, words or personality. Compliments make you feel wanted, confident and positive.

By telling someone why you’re thankful for them, you’re not only boosting their self esteem, you’re also strengthening your relationship with them. There’s no better time to think about why you’re thankful for others than during the holiday season as you reflect on the past year.

Practice Meditating to Embrace Mindfulness and Gratitude

It’s estimated that up to 40% of the American population meditates once a week. This can be anything from spending five minutes focusing on your breathing, to participating in guided meditation as part of a group or using an app. American interest in the activity has been growing significantly, and for good reason.

Meditating has significant health benefits. It improves focus, boosts mood, helps with sleep, reduces stress and more. This is because meditating allows you to take your mind off of life’s daily tasks and challenges. For a brief part of your day, you completely disconnect from social media, work and anything else that might be overstimulating your brain. This in turn, allows you to embrace mindfulness and gratitude. Here is a beginner’s guide to meditation.

These are just a few of the great ways to practice gratefulness ahead of Thanksgiving. By focusing on the positives in your life, you can change your mindset around life’s obstacles and the negativity they can bring. Rebalancing your perspective on life won’t happen overnight, but if you start soon, you’ll have a grateful Thanksgiving and holiday season.


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