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Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

Posted at 4:24 AM on Thursday, November 23, 2006

Note - the post below speaks to Thanksgiving in the United States - which we celebrate today. If you live in another part of the world, or are reading this on any other day, please read on - the message is relevant regardless of your location or the date on the calendar ...

Contrary to the beliefs (or habits) of many, Thanksgiving isn't really about feasts, family, and football. Actually Thanksgiving is quite an interesting holiday in its origins. We don't celebrate due to religious beliefs or traditions, we don't celebrate because of someone's death or birth, we celebrate the thought and practice of giving thanks.

So as you celebrate today consider the thankfulness and the gratefulness purpose for the day. Here are some tangible tips help you give thanks today or any day.

1. Take five minutes of quiet time. In this five minutes of time count your blessings. Consider this a brainstorming exercise reflect on the many things you are thankful for. Make a list mentally, or preferably on paper or computer of these things you are grateful for.

2. Take a walk. Spend a few minutes outdoors alone or with someone else keeping your thoughts are conversation focused on gratefulness. Enjoy the time, the scenery, and exercise. (If you walk after your meal, the exercise will help serve another healthy purpose as well.)

3. Say thanks. If you believe (as I do) in God or another higher power, say thank you for all of the blessings you considered and all those you haven't thought of. Even if you aren't religious or spiritual, saying thanks for the things you've been given is a powerful practice.

4. Make it a habit. Don't stop today because it's Thanksgiving, turn it into a lifelong habit of gratefulness and gratitude.

If you want to read a bit more on gratitude, you can read an article I wrote called The Gift of Gratitude here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and thanks for reading this post.
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