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Angelina Hunter | northfortynews.com
As the holidays roll around each year, commercial messages intended to sell products, stress festivities, loved ones, fine food — and presents.
But many of us do not have any prospect of a “Norman Rockwell” holiday and left unchallenged, these “manufactured expectations” can lead to anxiety, sadness, and depression.
Consider how many Americans move away from their family of origin and how not everyone can hop on a plane every year to visit “back home.” For others, as they get older, they may not have one elder in their family who is still on the planet.
But even if you do have family and loved ones with whom to celebrate the holidays, at its core, Thanksgiving is all about being grateful. THAT alone, when practiced regularly, can not only lift your spirits but can also improve your health, increase your creativity, and not only lead to greater prosperity, but a happier life experience on a daily basis — on the way to that greater prosperity.
For most people, gratitude does not come naturally — in part, that’s due to the primitive nature of our brain that is more concerned about threats to survival than to remembering all the things that went well. After a while, a person may lose sight of the fact that for some time, their health has been good, their income adequate, and their family is doing well — if that describes you, take time to savor these happy circumstances.
Try starting your day, not just on Thanksgiving but every day, being mindful of being grateful — if you live alone, you can give thanks for a beautiful sunny day, a good night’s sleep, a tasty breakfast, and the day’s activities. If you live with a loved one or a family, try thanking them for the little tasks they do that make the day and the household run better — and just being themselves.
Regardless of circumstances, when you give thanks and you refuse to be a “victim” you take on your full power. And when you practice gratitude on a daily basis, you just may astound yourself with what you are able to create.