My favorite holiday is just around the corner! I love Thanksgiving because there is no pressure, no stress about giving or receiving gifts, and no T.V. commercials trying to sell you Thanksgiving stuff. It is just a holiday about being grateful for the infinite number of blessings we have each received from our Heavenly Father. I love it because it is a holiday that can be observed by any race, religion, or people. I love it because of mashed potatoes.
Did you know that Thanksgiving can teach us how to have a better day? Really, it can. Have you ever had a day that just started off bad and seemed to get worse as it went on? Have you ever felt like you were depressed but not sure why? Have you ever felt alone and without people who cared about you? These are very common feelings for both teenagers and adults.
All of these feelings, and many others, can be cured by using what I call the “Thanksgiving Method.” Over the years I have been able to help many people to overcome feelings of sadness and deep depression by using this one simple secret, the “Thanksgiving Method.” Today I’d like to share it with you. As you read, you may think that it seems too simple, but I promise you that it will help you be happier and healthier, feel more positive, and have more close friends. It works every time. I have seen people use it to cure themselves of depression or to feel happier about life. So here it is.
The Thanksgiving Method
The first you will need is a blank notebook or journal. You will be writing something every day and, believe me, you will want to look back at it in the future. You could label it “Thanksgiving Journal” or “Happiness Journal.”
This process has two simple steps that I want you to repeat every single day. The steps have to do with the words “thanks” and “giving.”
#1 – “Thanks”
The first step is to wake up every morning and write down 1 thing you are thankful for. It could be your family, your friends, your health, your dog, etc. Just write down one thing you are grateful for and tell why.
“I am grateful for ____________________ because ______________________________
Showing gratitude every morning helps you to realize all of the blessings you have in your life. When we feel sad or depressed, Satan tries to keep us focusing on all of the negatives. He wants us to focus on the things we don’t have or the negative feelings we have inside. The more he can get us to focus on the negative, the less time we have to focus on being happy. And the thing Satan hates the most is when we feel grateful and happy.
Start every day by focusing on something you are grateful for. See if you can pick something different every day. The more you focus on the blessings you do have, the less you will worry about the things you don’t.
#2 – “Giving”
The second thing you will do every day is write down the name of somebody you will do something nice for that day. Somebody you will give service to. It could be your mom, dad, sibling, teacher, bus driver, or a complete stranger. It doesn’t have to be a big service project; it could be as simple as giving somebody a compliment, or maybe sitting by somebody at lunch that doesn’t have friends around them. You could bake cookies or clean up somebody’s yard. You could send a message to someone on Facebook or Instagram just telling them that you think they are a great person and why you admire them. You will be amazed at how one small compliment can improve another person’s entire day.
I have always felt that it is impossible to be giving service and feeling depressed at the same time. When we feel depressed, we are only able to focus on ourselves and how alone we feel. When we think about doing something nice for others, we focus on them and how we will help them have a better day. Taking the focus off of our negative thoughts and replacing them with thoughts of helping others will immediately help you feel better. You’ve heard the phrase, “Charity never faileth.” It is true. Charity is giving of yourself and your own interests for the benefit of another person. The more often you give service, the less often you will feel sad, lonely, or depressed. Charity never faileth.
Make it a habit!
So there it is, the “Thanks-Giving Method.” It is just two steps to do every day:
1) Write down what you’re grateful for.
2) Do something nice for somebody.
I guarantee that if you can do those two things every day you will create a happy and wonderful life. You will be more successful at school, in relationships, at work, and with your family. You will decrease the number of bad days and increase the number of friends and good experiences you have. Life will feel more full and people around you will notice how positive you are.
It only takes about three minutes every morning, but it will be the best investment you ever make in yourself. As we move towards Thanksgiving this year, make it a goal to bring “Thanks-Giving” into your life every day. You will be grateful that you did.
Dr. Kris Heap is a dentist and motivational speaker from Mesa, AZ. He is the creator of Successify!, a company that teaches people how to form habits that produce happiness and success. He is the author of 4 books.