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The past month, we have talked about creating routines, predictable patterns, and the power of prayer. I hope you have been able to take some time to implement a few of the suggestions into your routines. The goal is to prepare the way to CELEBRATE the holidays and give space for us all to experience joy! 

It is hard to believe we are a week and a half away from celebrating Thanksgiving. This is the time of year we always talk about gratitude. I want to challenge our community to make gratitude a daily practice rather than something we only visit in November.  

What is gratitude?

One way to define gratitude is what we feel. If we are honest, things have been hard for a long time. There are many reasons that stress, anxiety, depression, and just a sense of dread have been easier to focus on rather than gratitude, especially if this is what “we feel”. Did you know that learning the practice of growing your gratitude is huge in the mental health world right now? Growing our gratitude can be defined as showing thankfulness and appreciation for the good things in our lives. Studies have shown this helps us feel healthier and changes our outlook.  We can use Thanksgiving to begin our practice. Keep it simple, focus on the little things, and practice saying thank you for specific things throughout the day.  

Impact on Mental and Emotional Health

Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Giving thanks to the LORD is a practice that not only aligns our hearts with Him spiritually, but studies show that focusing on what we are thankful for throughout the day can help block toxic emotions that lead to negative thought patterns. One place to begin this practice is to remember that God wants us just the way we are and His grace and mercy overflow. Enter this holiday season knowing He will carry your burdens and He has surrounded you with an army of angels and hears your every prayer. 

We are coming up on a nice break from school. I want to help all of us manage our expectations for this holiday season and hope this is one more step in your journey to experiencing joy this holiday season. If you need support and someone to talk to, please email me, I understand and want to help! 

May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving! 

Contact Nancy

Speak confidentially with Nancy Secrest, licensed counselor, by contacting her at 614-410-4306 or sending her an email.

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