Thanksgiving is only nine days away! Are you ready? This is the time of year when we gather with family and friends to observe our most cherished traditions: sharing meals, honoring family, loved ones, and friendships; watching sports and remarking on how fast time flies.
It’s supposed to be a joyful season, but for many, it’s a dreaded and challenging time of year. Couples going through a breakup or divorce, or individuals remembering old conflicts with the very people they’re supposed to break bread with, can find that Thanksgiving Day is an agonizing experience.
If you’re in one of these categories, you could be there longer than you’d like. But if what I’ve described isn’t where you want to be, then it isn’t where you have to stay. You have the ability to change your perspective and focus on the reason for the day.
The change begins by asking yourself how you might regain emotional control. Here are some strategies:
1.) Make a gratitude list. Creating a list of things you are grateful for helps you redirect your focus from the negative to the positive things in your life. The process uplifts you, reminds you of how fortunate you truly are. As positive thoughts build upon each other, you’ll feel the shift in your mood. Research by the Mayo Clinic reveals that positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health improvements, including longer life spans, less stress, less depression, better stress management and coping skills, increased physical well-being, and overall better psychological health.
2.) If you’re without your children on this holiday, appreciate the next time you have planned to see them. Look forward to their return. Meanwhile, do something for yourself that you have not had time to do.
3.) Create new traditions with your children. Fun and imaginative things that pump energy into your new life are a good idea. How about making a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner for the day after, including everyone in the preparation? Bake cookies. Watch a fun movie. Make good memories.
4.) Forgive the person you are holding the grudge against. Life doesn’t last that long and it’s a waste of your precious time.
Keep your focus on gratitude, as those are the thoughts that make you feel inspired and uplifted.
Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an energy healer.
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