This Thanksgiving season, take stock of the good in your life: reflect on your year, and really think about what you have to be thankful for. When you feel that you are truly blessed, you can help others find their way to happiness.
Some of us don’t see the great and wonderful beauty in the world as easily as others. If you’re unsure of how to find ways to feel thankful this season, here are ten suggested activities to open yourself to happiness and gratefulness this season.
1. Write in a Happiness Journal- Buy a new journal (or repurpose a pad of paper) and write about one thing at the end of the day that made you feel happy, inspired, blessed, or good about your life. As this list grows, you’ll have more examples to reference to bring you cheer. It will also help you see that there are usually more good things in your life than you think.
2. Host a Family Dinner- Gather all your loved ones for a wonderful home-cooked meal. To keep the event low-stress, make it potluck! Get your whole extended family involved in making your meal diverse and delicious, and decrease the stress on your end. Enjoying your family’s company will keep your spirits high during the holiday season.
3. Call Friends and Family Members- If many of your friends and family live far away, go out of your way to reach out to them over the phone or on a video calling application. Catching up with people you love serves as a great reminder that you’re never far from the people you love in your heart.
4. Do Something Kind For Your Partner- Show your partner how much you love them by giving them a happy surprise. You could cook them their favorite meal, or plan a spur-of-the-moment date. Even something as simple as helping them around the house will make them appreciate you more and, in turn, bring you and your partner close this season.
5. Travel Somewhere New- If you have a day to yourself, take a day trip somewhere exciting. If you enjoy going hiking or being in nature, drive off to the mountains or the woods and take a walk. If you’ve wanted to see a certain attraction in your town or in a nearby county, take the day to go explore that area. Spending time doing something you love will boost your mood.
6. Treat Yourself- Pamper yourself during a relaxing night in, just for you. Take a bubble bath, wear your favorite pajamas, or order your favorite food. Or if none of those activities float your boat, do something you find relaxing. Taking time to self-heal and relax will help you de-stress and find your Zen after a busy week. This time can also help you find happiness from stressful situations.
7. Take A Walk- If you need to recalibrate your system or blow off some steam, take a short walk around your neighborhood. As Aldous Huxley said, “My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing”. Breathing in a little bit of fresh air can clear your mind enough to see the beauty in the world and, in turn, your own life.
8. Do Volunteer Work- Nothing makes you feel more grateful for what you have than giving back to those less fortunate. Volunteer through a program that caters to activities you’re interested in. For example, if you play the guitar, volunteer to play songs at a children’s hospital. Or if you like getting your hands dirty, volunteer to help with gardening projects in your community. Lending a helping hand to those in need can easily lift your spirits and help you see the good in the world.
9. Get Moving- If you want to feel better physically this holiday season, squeeze in a few workouts before the big meal. Exercise releases endorphins that help boost your mood. Plus, you’ll be extra thankful for your better health and happiness during the season. The better you feel about yourself, the more thankful you will feel towards every other aspect of your life.
10. Make Time For Him- If you find happiness and gratitude in His love, try to attend one extra sermon a week. You can immerse yourself in His wisdom and words, and thank him for all He has done to enrich your life. If you can’t find the time, take five minutes to read your favorite Bible passage, or simply find a private moment to pray on your own. Connecting with Him will open your eyes to all the things you should be thankful for in the world.
There is so much to be thankful for in everyone’s lives: good food, kind friends, a loving family—and that’s only the beginning! Happiness comes from an appreciation of the good you have found and what good will come to you in the future. Find a way to be happy, and thankfulness will come with it. All you have to do is take a moment to open your perspective and find joy in the small things.« BACK