Does your family do that thing where you all go around the table and everyone has to say something they’re grateful for? Do you panic every single year and say the first thing that pops into your head, which usually elicits groans or eye rolls from your loved ones? Or, do you spend hours before dinner practicing a speech-length thankfulness report that includes every single person at the table so no one ever feels left out? First of all, there is something a bit icky about forced gratitude right? It doesn’t feel natural to come up with something to be thankful for because you have to. Not to mention, the past few years have been extremely challenging, and you may be finding yourself at a loss for something to be grateful for. We hear you! In this blog, I’ll review some things you can be grateful this Thanksgiving. While developing more gratitude is beneficial, it’s also important to remember you have the right to say you’d rather not share anything this year, but you’re thankful to be here with friends and family. It’s okay to pass politely. If you’re struggling in general to find things to feel grateful for, maybe it’s time to talk to a therapist about how shifting to a focus on gratitude can be beneficial. It’s not always easy, but increased gratitude is shown to improve overall mood, make relationships better, increase resilience, and even make people feel more confident.
Top 10 Things to Say You’re Grateful for at the Thanksgiving Table
First and foremost, gratitude is not about faking perfection or happiness. You can express thanks and gratitude at the worst of times, and research indicates that taking the time to express this gratitude can help you heal and feel better even if you’re grieving, depressed, or otherwise going through a challenging time. That’s not to say it’s easy, and it can be especially difficult to find something to be grateful for when you’re put on the spot at your Thanksgiving dinner. To help you out, we’ve put together a top 10 list of things you can say you’re grateful for this Thanksgiving:
- Keep it simple – I’m thankful to be here with all of you.
- Embrace grief and loss – My heart is crying at the loss of a dear friend, but I’m so grateful for the time we spent together, companionship, and mentorship I received.
- Keep it real – I’m thankful we have a meal to share together and for the hands that prepared this food.
- Celebrate family and friends – I’m grateful to all of you for being here with me.
- Appreciate your pets – I’m thankful for my furry (or scaley or feathery) companions for their unconditional love.
- Express gratitude for work – I’m thankful I have a fulfilling job.
- Celebrate stability – I’m grateful to have a safe and stable life where I don’t need to feel afraid.
- Embrace yourself – I’m happy I have loved ones who accept me as I am and allow me to be fully and uniquely myself.
- Enjoy health and wellness – I am so happy to be healthy and able to celebrate with loved ones.
- Celebrate your home – I’m so thankful to have a warm home where we can all celebrate the season together.
Need Help Developing More Gratitude?
If none of this resonates with you or you just feel generally down during the holidays, you’re not alone. Millions of people in the U.S. alone struggle with greater feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation during the holiday season. Increasing gratitude and making time to recognize the things in your life you feel thankful for is just one way to improve your mood during the holidays and year round. During therapy sessions at Central Arkansas Group Counseling, we can help you make progress toward living a more fulfilling and satisfying life every day. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you want to learn more or schedule a session with us.