Did you know nearly 96% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving? Even though one of the main objectives of this holiday is to build in time for expressing gratitude, the rush of preparing for food and travel might make feeling grateful challenging.

Studies have shown that cultivating gratitude can improve your mood by helping you focus on positive emotions. Amid Thanksgiving busyness, take a moment to slow down and actually ‘give thanks’ by trying some of the methods below.

  • Share what you’re grateful for with others. As travel and turkey prices rise compared to last year, things you may not be able to do this year might feel frustrating. Try focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t. Whether you’re at the dinner table or posting on social media, communicate what you’re grateful for to those around you.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Writing down what you’re grateful for daily can be a healthy habit you sustain long after Thanksgiving. You only need a few minutes to jot down a list of things you appreciate, whether that’s a gift from a friend, a sunny day or an extra hour of sleep. Adding this simple habit into your life can improve your mood and help you focus on the positives.
  • Practice mindfulness. Most Thanksgiving hosts admit to feeling stressed leading up to and during the holiday. Whether you’re a host or guest, using mindfulness techniques to focus on the present moment can help you break the worry cycle and recognize the things around you for which you feel grateful. Check out the Mindfulness Toolkit for tips and tools to practice mindfulness.
  • Give thanks. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without giving thanks, as it’s in the very name of the holiday. Whether you verbally tell someone or write a thank-you note, you can strengthen your relationships with others by expressing your appreciation. You can also give back to your community by donating to charity or volunteering for a passionate cause. Finally, remember to give thanks to yourself. Try writing positive affirmations about your values and character or taking time for self-care.
  • Engage in random acts of kindness. Expressing gratitude can be as easy as sharing a hug or a kind word. You don’t have to be all smiles all the time but try spreading a little bit of positivity whenever possible.

Sources: SupportLinc