thanksgiving article

Making Thanksgiving Gratitude An Attitude

November 11, 2013

Thanksgiving-Just One Day A Year?

Ah....November. The month of turkey, ham, roast beef, stuffing, pies, and holiday shopping. Pre-operatively, many of us started planning for holiday eating in September! True, November is the month for Thanksgiving and part of Thanksgiving is food, however, it is much more.

During November, our attention is turned to the many blessings in our lives. Gratitude is a magnet that attracts more and more blessings and changes our mindset.

Are you living in the existence of what you don't have or what you do have? If we choose to focus on what is missing from our lives, we live in a world of don't have negativity. When we choose to be grateful for the abundance in our lives that is present, such as family, friends, work, and the joy of a healthy lifestyle, then we experience the true Thanksgiving of life.

The rewards of gratitude are plentiful. They can change a life of emptiness to one of fulfillment. Unappreciative people are never satisfied and live empty lives. If we don't appreciate what we have today, how can we enjoy anything that comes our way in the future?

Abundance isn't just about money or financial comfort. Abundance is so much more. It is appreciating the true gifts of your life. When we are fully aware of the treasures in our lives, we eliminate worry, fear, greed, and jealousy. A grateful heart is a comfort in times of difficulty.

Gratitude is more than a feeling of thankfulness. Gratitude is an expression of being thankful. Tell those people in your life that you are appreciative of them. Tell them how much they mean to you and how they make a difference in your life.

November will come and go. We are left with 11 other months in the year. Do our thankfulness and gratitude have to be limited to November and Thanksgiving?

In our day-to-day routines, we don't stop to think of all of the wonderful people and things in our lives that we enjoy. We can take the time to give thanks in November by creating a gratitude list, update it, and refer to it throughout the remaining days and months of the year.

Gratitude is being aware and acknowledging the gifts of your life. It allows us the opportunity of not taking things for granted or of being accustomed to something or someone specific and shining the light of gratitude on it.

Some "How To" Tips for a Deeper Thanksgiving:

  1. Create a New Tradition: Celebrate Thanksgiving by creating a new tradition. For example, go around the table and share two things you are most grateful for.
  2. Create a Gratitude Journal:  Every night before you go to bed, write down three to five things you are grateful for that occurred in your day. The idea is that you will be aware throughout your day. You will pay attention to the large and small events to add to your entry for the day.
  3. Write Meaningful Notes: For your spouse, kids, or co-worker, write a short note of appreciation about something they did or said that was meaningful to you.
  4. Anonymous RAKs: Perform a random act of kindness anonymously every day. Pay a toll for the car behind you, put in some extra coins in a parking meter, send a card to a friend for no reason "just because," or act on any other idea to make a difference for someone else.

Thanksgiving can truly be lived every single day of the year. Thanksgiving is a way of living and thinking, not merely a way of spending a day of the year. With just a little more focus on appreciation and true Thanksgiving, we all can make a difference in each other's lives.

cathy wilson


Cathy Wilson, PCC, BCC, had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

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