What is gratitude?
Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
I am grateful for so many things, and this time of year it is top of mind. I am so thankful for my family and the joy they give me, my husband, kids and sweet grandchildren. My friends who are so dear to me that build me up, help me stay true to who I am and are there when needed. My colleagues who support my vision, help me to help others and are so supportive in their work for our patients, and for me. I am grateful for so many things, my health, my home, the foods I am able to enjoy, my body and all it can do, and for you.
How Do We Focus on Gratitude and Positivity?
Gratitude has a positive effect on our lives, our businesses and in our workplace. What are you grateful for? How do you show gratitude to those you love and to those you work with? I tell my patients to start with thinking of one thing a day that is positive to focus on in their lives, themselves, and what they are thankful for. I also always start my sessions with “What was positive for you this week”?
How can you show gratitude? Can you put away your neighbors garbage cans, or tell someone how much you care for them? How about bringing a cup of coffee to your spouse or friend? Have you ever bought your friend their favorite candy or taken them to breakfast, sent flowers, or written a love note to a family member or friend? What can you do? Do you see the good in others and focus on their heart? I believe, and studies show that being grateful and focusing on the positive enhances our lives and those around us. It helps us to be better people and gives more meaning to life.
Think of Others…
Be mindful and remember that the holidays can be hard for those who suffer from eating disorders, those who have lost loved ones, and those that are estranged from their families. It is a time where many of my eating disorder patients struggle as they can be a trigger to those in recovery and those who are trying to heal their relationship with food. When people make comments about food or bodies even if not intended in a negative way, it can be taken that way. I remind those that struggle that they can walk away, go outside, change the subject, or say there are so many other things we can talk about can’t we?
We want you to remember that honoring and respecting your body, and being thankful for your body is just as important as being thankful and grateful for all the other things on thanksgiving. Honor your cravings, enjoy your food, pay attention to what you do enjoy eating, and what you do not, and let us know! Remember it’s about those special foods, but it’s also about connection to others, comfort, and so many things that Thanksgiving brings.