Navigating Epilepsy: The Road Ahead

Recipe for Thanksgiving!

As I was reflecting upon the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and ways in which we can be thankful I immediately thought of gratitude and the importance of gratitude in our daily lives.

Research has shown that the gratitude can help increase optimism, happiness and general satisfaction in life. It can also help combat symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Although it is not something that comes easily for most it is something that can quickly be incorporated in your daily activities. There are even apps that you can download that can help you create an interactive gratitude journal.

In this blog entry I will try to stay within the theme of Thanksgiving and create a “recipe” for gratitude that should be easy to follow.

1. The gratitude journal/list
Take a moment each day to think about something you are thankful for. Even on your worst days you will be surprised to find that there is almost always one thing you can be grateful for. If you like you can write it down, draw it, photograph it—really it is up to you!
2. Letter of gratitude.
Don’t keep all of this positive energy to yourself! If a person or relationship is something you are thankful for be sure to share that information with the other person/people. Either by a letter or by a text or a phone call…
3. Thankful breathes.
Focus on your breathing and feel appreciation and gratitude for the things you have in your life. A simple exercise is to think with each breath, inhale calm/focus, exhale gratitude. Take a few minutes to be still with your thoughts.
4. Gratitude symbol.
Take a moment to identify a item that you will carry with you, maybe a wedding band or a pebble, really anything that can fit in your pocket. Every time you touch that item during the day, empty your pockets at night, or intentionally choose to focus on it, use that moment to be thankful.
5. Grateful Meditation.
In the past there have been blog entries about mindfulness and starting mindfulness based practices in your daily life. Feel free to review those for some samples and ideas to start practicing mindfulness meditations.

Use this holiday season as a time to start your journey towards thanksgiving and gratitude.

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