How to be thankful when you don’t feel thankful
Once a year here in the U.S. (and elsewhere), we unite and in the thought to be thankful. Thanksgiving is a wonderful reminder to connect to the inner state of gratefulness and, when we are grateful, a whole cascade of neurochemicals is released in our bodies, lowering inflammation and stimulating repair and immune mechanisms. When we are in gratefulness, we feel connected to others and we are happier.
The thing is, sometimes Thanksgiving week comes and we are just not “there.” We are going through issues, stresses, hurts, and are having a hard time finding what to say thank you for, much less have the feeling of gratitude. We may say to ourselves “forget this, Thanksgiving is an arbitrary date and I don’t have control over what is happening to me just these days.” What can we do to jump into the stream of gratitude?
Here is a practical exercise you can do:
• Sit on the edge of a chair, with your belly and chest open, feet planted on the floor.
• Take 3 breaths and feel your body there, sitting where you are. Relax your eyes and your tongue.
• Connect to an area of your body that is in good condition, that you feel works well (it might be your lungs, your heart, a strong muscle area). Feel that area of your body.
• Say thank you to that part of your body. It is there, working well, so it is easy to be grateful for that. OK; now we are in mini gratefulness, our launch pad.
• Next, imagine that you are out in orbit at the edge of space, like where the Space Station is, and look at yourself from that distance. If you are not a visual person no problem, just get the feeling of seeing yourself up there from space. Then, from there, you ask yourself:
“Is there any other thing that I have in my life that I can say thank you to?”
• Let it come to you and say thank you. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and others, right now!