Happy Thanksgiving: Notes on Using Gratitude to Combat Struggles and Stress


Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful this year, and I’m so glad that we have this season to remind us to be thankful right before a season that can feel anything but.

I think a lot of times when we talk about gratitude, we talk about it like it’s something virtuous or we do it for it’s own sake. 

But for me lately, during the stress of moving, it’s been much more active than that. It’s not just about feeling good, it’s about using gratitude to actively combat stress and anxiety. 

Today I wanted to share a little about how I’ve been using gratitude as a tool during a stressful time.

Turn Your Struggles into Gratitude

A few weeks ago, I realized I’d spent weeks mulling over whether we should move, doubting my choice, looking for signs, regretting everything…it was pretty loud in my brain. 

And then I realized I was being completely ridiculous, and, while my anxiety was valid (feel your feelings!) I was also super blessed because of those same things that were making me anxious.

How lucky am I to have a beautiful home

How blessed to listen to my gut about a random “for sale” sign we drove by? 

How grateful am I that this house sat on the market, waiting for us, for 60 days while we needed time to come around to the idea of it?

How thankful am I that we financially have the option to live where we want to?

And while it didn’t erase my to-do list or eliminate the things I was questioning, it did serve to quiet my mind. It made me realize how lucky I am. 

Stress and anxiety don’t live in the same space as gratitude.

So, the next time you’re stressing out or anxious, how can you turn that very same thing around? 

When you’re stressed at work, you could be grateful you have a job you love. 

If you’re super busy during the holidays, try being thankful for loved ones who want to spend time with you.

Count Your Blessings 

If you’re anxious about things outside your control, you may not be able to really turn the exact thing around. In that case, I find it most helpful to start counting my blessings. 

Just listing things in your life that are good will remind you that it’s not as bad as it seems and that thing that’s absorbing all of your thoughts isn’t your whole life.

Ultimately, you have the control. If you say to yourself “this is going to be a bad day” or “I can’t do this,” you’re right. If you say, “that was hard but this is still going to be a great day” you’re also right.

You’re in charge. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Tell me on this post what you’re thankful for today! 

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