Thanksgiving is a week away. While our minds are occupied by thoughts of a big meal, football, and maybe even Black Friday deals, we can often get caught up in the whirlwind of Thanksgiving Day. Then, all of a sudden, we blink and it’s over and we haven’t even thought about what the day stands for…thankfulness.

But what does it mean to be thankful? Instead of concentrating on the things we are lacking or wish were different, thankfulness directs our focus to be grateful for all of the things we DO have.

It’s easy to just run through a checklist in your head about the things that you can say you are thankful for (family, friends, a roof over your head, a hot meal, etc.), but this holiday season, we want you to slow down and reflect on what it means to be truly thankful.

And more than being thankful for the tangible things you have (though it is not bad to be thankful for those items), examine the relationships in your life – friends, family, partners. Leading up to the height of the holiday season, these relationships can often be some of the most testing. While it can be easy to lash out at one another during these seasons of heightened stress, when you think about what you are thankful for in the relationships you have, it is a kind of positive reinforcement…making those stressors a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.

Practicing thankfulness, especially in your relationships, allows you to focus on how the relationships you have with others truly enrich your life. And showing your thankfulness can help even the healthiest relationships grow and flourish.

Task: Write down the names of 3 people that you are thankful for and why. Then reflect on how that makes you feel. See if you can imagine how they would feel to know how grateful you are for them.