Moving to a new country is not just about logistics. It’s about meeting its people, exploring its regions, marveling at new landscapes, adjusting to its culture, tasting its culinary specialties, but also discovering – maybe even embracing – its traditions.

Thanksgiving is a long-standing tradition in the United States. This holiday always falls on the 4th Thursday of November and is followed nowadays by the craziest shopping day of the year, known as Black Friday (there is a reason behind the “black” but that’s a story for another time). Anyway, without going into the controversial history of Thanksgiving (a sad day for Native Americans), this idea of giving thanks is calling me to talk about the wonders of gratitude.

Gratitude, a great tool on a daily basis

In my practice, I juggle with various tools and invite clients to actively participate in the coaching process by giving them homework. My top favorites tools are: making space/creating vacuum and practicing gratitude on a daily basis. Gratitude has many benefits and is perhaps one of the most powerful personal development tools. Actually, more than a tool, it’s a state of being – an attitude of grace. It helps to dissipate fear and to be present by being centered on what is, but it also promotes:

  • More self-love
  • More abundance
  • Better sleep and more energy
  • More serenity
  • Feeling more connected/less lonely…

We feel better and happier!

In other words, if you are going through a slump, a state of grace may be just what you need!

What to do?

At Thanksgiving dinners, it is common to go around the table and share what we feel thankful for. There are a lot of Thanksgiving games out there. For example, each guest writes something on a piece of paper with his name. Then the papers are read anonymously and you have to guess who the author is.

The homework I’m proposing is super simple – no excuses! Morning or evening, write down 3 things that happened in the last 24 hours for which you’re grateful. That’s it!

I like to do it at night to end the day on a positive note and enjoy a restful sleep, since it allows me to relive those nice moments and sometimes to remember things that would otherwise be forgotten. It’s so easy to forget (or even overlook) all the things that come our way and make our life more pleasant.

Mornings are great too if you want to direct your day to be a good one! It will help to manifest even more opportunities to be grateful.

In this digital era, I find it feels more tangible to write by hand on actual paper. He, here is a gift idea for the holidays: a gratitude journal!

Another suggestion: the pot of gratitude. Write down something every day on a piece of paper, put it in a glass jar, and at the end of the year (on New Year’s Eve for example), read each one. A fun game to do with the whole family, especially if there are children (with their creativity and sometimes surprising wisdom).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Heloise De Smet