lucy

It’s that time of year when we are encouraged to count our blessings and to give thanks. It sounds pretty simple and it can be, at times.

At other times, it may seem nearly impossible or very difficult at best. For when we are in tough situations, facing tragedies, grieving losses, feeling alone and sometimes even hopeless; then giving thanks may be the furthest thing from our mind.

It’s when we feel it the least that we need it the most. Giving thanks is something we choose to do. We don’t have to feel thankful to express it. It is in the process of giving thanks that we will experience a shift in how we feel.

Not sure if this is really true? Give it a try and see for yourself.

There are different ways to experiment with expressing thanks. To begin with, and probably the most obvious, we can give thanks for the things we appreciate in our lives even though we have some difficulties as well.

For example, we might be having problems with our boss and can be thankful for our co-workers.

Giving thanks invokes a sense of gratitude which is one of the most powerful emotions we have.

I was recently giving my condolences to a gentleman who lost his young mother unexpectedly. He shared that while at her funeral his father had to be taken to the hospital.

It was shocking to hear this. As I listened, he went on to say, “I am grateful that…”

Another way to express thanks is to focus on those things for which we are not exactly thankful. Maybe we keep getting interviews and just can’t seem to land the job. Give thanks anyway.

Giving thanks when things are not going our way, demonstrates trust. It represents a deep knowing that things will work out.

This brings us to a third way to express thanks. We can give thanks for things that are yet to come. For example we can give thanks for all those who will benefit from the book we will write or the business we will build.

Giving thanks in this way taps into hope. When we have hope for the future, we are more alive and more aligned with our purpose.

In addition to these personal ways of giving thanks, we have endless opportunities to thank others. This opens up a whole new perspective on giving thanks.

Thinking of and thanking others gets us outside of ourselves. This can have a very positive impact on the way we approach life.

Most people need and want to be appreciated. Even when we know that we are appreciated, it is important to our psyche to hear it and be reminded of it.

Maybe you can relate to feeling unappreciated. Many of us can. If so, I invite you to be the change you wish to see. Consider doing something I recently did.

Buy a pack of note cards. Sit quietly with the cards and let your mind ponder who you want to thank and for what.

When someone comes to mind, write to them.

This simple exercise can bring about tremendous feelings of joy, love and true thanksgiving. Isn’t that what the season is all about?

In closing, I want to thank each one of you for reading this monthly column. I thank you for reaching out to me by email, for stopping me in stores, at work, in church and various other places to share your thoughts with me. I thank you in advance for subscribing to MyWeeklyWow.com blog, and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving in this moment and beyond the turkey dinner.

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Lucy Wellmaker is a blogger with who helps others find “Wow Moments” at MyWeeklyWow.com.