The Mind Loops Blog – Nov 2020
Except for eating a 2nd slice pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving can occur EVERY day. As always, it’s only a matter of where we put our focus.
Last week I got in a funk. Particularly about Covid, and the fact we made the decision to cancel our 30-year tradition(!) of going to this gorgeous lodge every Thanksgiving for 3 days with beloved friends to play games, and toast nightly with champagne, and take hikes in the snow.
I thought to myself, “Uh oh… I’m feeling bummer energy coming on… Time to switch it around before it takes hold.”
How did I do it? With that good ol’ standby, Gratitude.
I decided to write down ONE thing I’m grateful for, every day, in a journal. And I’m not talking about a simple one-liner, generic appreciation like, “I’m grateful today for my health / for my good friends / for toilet paper.”
No. I’m talking about a full description of: WHY I’m grateful for this, WHAT the presence of it means to me, and HOW it positively affects/affected my life. A mini exposition on one thing I feel deep appreciation for.
It’s all about the DETAILS.
The first entry was about a dear friend whose presence has helped me stave off loneliness and isolation during Covid. As soon as I started writing – and recollecting fun and often humorous memories of adventures we’ve had since Covid began – I felt the corners of my mouth begin to turn up. Then my energy raise. Then actual joy begin to flow through me once again.
The next day’s entry was about my health. Now listen: I broke my toe two weeks ago. I could be complaining about all the hassles and pain and extra work that has created. But why bother? Who wants to hear that? No one. Certainly not me, in my own head.
So as I wrote about my body and health, I described how incredibly grateful I am that I don’t have Covid; how I jump out of bed every day, with energy and passion to begin writing; how I am somehow keeping trim (enough) during the holiday season; and how, even with a broken toe, I get out for daily, restorative, and deeply enjoyable walks – whether in the low light of the fall sun, or in the midst of a rainstorm, bundled up in rain gear.
Each day I’m writing something. And each day, it raises my mood to do so.
I realized that every day I can Give Thanks. I do it in my head already; but writing down specifics, with pen onto paper – while in the midst of this scary, divisive, unpredictable and at times tragic period in our history – makes all the numerous (and sometimes hidden) gifts present in my awareness, concrete in my heart, and a focus in my life. And that changes everything.
If you’re feeling low, perhaps wishing you would be having a different holiday than you’re having this year, I hope you give this daily short bit of writing a go. It’s so simple. And yet such a powerful mood-changer:
DAILY (at least through the end of the month – the longer the more potent!):
- Write ONE THING you’re grateful for.
- Write WHY specifically you’re grateful for it.
- Write WHAT that thing/person means to you.
- Write HOW it/they have had a positive impact on your life.
And then NOTICE how your mood improves. 🙂
Wishing you and yours a truly lovely and loving (even if strange or different) Thanksgiving!
PS: If you’d like a little help getting into the mental state of gratitude, my book How To Stop Negative Thoughts provides clear steps to interrupt repetitive, negative thoughts. And/or get the “10 Ways To Stop Negative Thinking” for free here. xo
Author of the #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller, How To Stop Negative Thoughts
Contributing author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences