With Thanksgiving a couple of days away, I thought it would be timely to write a post about giving thanks. This post will focus on expressing gratitude even when life feels hard. I know in my own world there are times it is easier to notice the things that go wrong more than the things that go right.
Daily hassles and struggles creep up in all of our lives. We get stuck in traffic. There are times we get in an argument with someone we care about. Sometimes we forget to get something at the store. There is always something we can choose to focus on that leaves us feeling stressed or unhappy. On the flip side, there is also almost always something we can find to focus on that leaves us feeling grateful, calm, or happy.
If I am stuck in traffic then that must mean I have a car that is working to get me where I want to go. If I get in an argument with someone I care about that means I have a close relationship in my life. I can choose to feel grateful for the relationship (and will be even more grateful when the disagreement is resolved!). If I forgot something at the store then I have money to be at a store buying things I need or want to have.
There is an example of what I am talking about in an old movie called Pollyanna. I used to watch Pollyanna as a kid. I don’t know if you have seen the movie Pollyanna, but when I was a kid my mom would constantly say, “Steffanie, you need to be a Pollyanna” when I was having a difficult time with something. For those of you who have never seen the movie, Pollyanna plays something she calls the Glad Game. She plays the game when she has something that happens in her life that leaves her feeling sad. Pollyanna makes a game out of finding things she can feel happy about.
It can be easy to be thankful when life is going smoothly. The challenge is to find things to be thankful for in the moments when we are feeling less than thankful. Learning to find points of gratitude in moments of difficulty is where the real magic happens in our lives. It can leave us feeling calmer and happier than we were before….which is always a beautiful thing!
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Written By Dr. Steffanie Stecker
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!