It’s Thanksgiving in the US tomorrow, something we don’t celebrate in Europe. If I’m honest, I’m fine with that. The last thing we need this time of year is another holiday that can be commercialised and stuffed down our throat by greedy retailers.
That said, there’s nothing to say I can’t give thanks, even if I’m not going to be wolfing down my own bodyweight in turkey – one aspect of the holiday I’m sorry I can’t enjoy tomorrow. (Note to self: have a turkey sandwich for lunch tomorrow).
In fact, regularly appreciating what’s positive in your life – expressing gratitude for the positives – is good for your mental health and is something I’ve made a practice of for the past few years. I make (or try to make) a daily record of things I’m grateful for in Day One.
It’s an interesting experience.
Even on the ‘worst’ days, it’s possible to identify some positives – even if it’s about what I’ve had for lunch. Some days, there’s a large selection of positives to choose from (I aim for three) and other days I real have to think for a while to come up with my list. I can definitely recommend it.
Today, for example, I’m grateful for:
- Having a really pleasant and interesting meeting over coffee with a potential new client this morning.
- Having fun while recording a podcast with a colleague this afternoon.
- Being able to finish work slightly early and avoid (some of) the evening rush hour.
- One more for good measure: the laughs I had on the phone with my mum earlier, while discussing Christmas shopping.
None of these are life-changing or earth-shattering. They’re quite banal really. But each was a nice experience in its own way and when I think about my day, I can think of other pleasant experiences – despite not everything going to plan.
Yes: I sent out a business newsletter to over 120 clients today, which everyone received starting “Dear <<first name>>”. Why? A toxic combination of attempted multi-tasking and just far too many browser tabs open at the same time.
So, no. It hasn’t been a perfect day. But focusing on the positives and things I’m grateful for help restore a little mental balance and put things in perspective.
So, what are you grateful for?