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Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts: Staying Grateful

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With bellies full of turkey, cranberries, and mashed potatoes, this weekend we laid down for turkey naps and drifted into a heavy slumber surrounded by family. Maybe you experienced this, too.

Many of our Canadian readers are returning to their regular schedule after celebrating Thanksgiving Weekend. Even though the holiday is over, we want your warm feeling to last! You can do this by practicing daily gratitude, and we want to show you how.

Thanksgiving Weekend has been recognized for hundreds of years to celebrate the fall harvest. In modern times, we still feast on many of the same dishes but the meaning has evolved to give thanks for much more than food. You’ll often hear that people should be grateful everyday, not just on the holiday — and they’re absolutely right. So why is gratitude so important?

Why Practice Gratitude?

First of all, it keeps us humble. Looking at our perks as Canadians, we’re pretty darn lucky; but we’re not going to get into that right now because it deserves an article in itself.

Gratitude is also good for our health! Researchers at Harvard have done studies on the topic and found a link between practicing gratitude and achieving greater happiness.

“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Harvard Health Publishing

We’ve created a whole holiday celebration for thankfulness, after all. Let’s look at our favourite ways to keep it going.

How to Practice Daily Gratitude

With the weekend fresh on our minds, let’s carry the feeling forward. Here are four habits you can bring into your life to stay thankful.

#1: Cook With Seasonal Foods

We still enjoy crops from the fall harvest long after Thanksgiving Weekend, which can bring back that cozy feeling and remind us of good times. Eating seasonally helps us appreciate the weather, soil, and hard work that goes into each bite.

#2: Write It Down

You’ve likely heard of a gratitude journal before. The idea is that you write a list of everything you’re grateful for, everyday. They’re great because the action can easily turn into habit, and that’s the main goal. Keep the journal on your bedside table, or even on your pillow. Then every night you can reflect on your day and things that you’re thankful for.

#3: Say It Out Loud

Simply telling your friends you’re thankful for them can start heart-warming conversations. Although this one doesn’t have to be a daily practice (that could get annoying, couldn’t it?), perhaps pass the message along when you think of a memory you’ve shared with them.

Hearing these words will not only help you, it makes them feel appreciated, too. If you have animals why not tell them, too (let’s be real, we all talk to our pets)? They won’t understand your words but they’ll love the attention and it helps you form the habit.

#4: Read World News

It’s a big world out there. Keeping up-to-date with events across the globe can be overwhelming. There are events happening that we don’t hear about unless we seek them out, but it’s still important to know what’s going on around us. Hearing about what others are dealing with can help to ground us. It reminds us that we may be quite lucky, and that it’s important to help others.

With those four tips, we hope you’ve found one that you can adopt. Different habits work for different people! How do you practice daily gratitude?

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