The Importance of Taking Time to Give Thanks

Did you know that in the United States more people go home for Thanksgiving than for Christmas? And yet, no presents are exchanged. It is simply a time to return home and share a meal, conversation, time with close family. Taking time to give thanks is seen as important.
Let's consider areas where it's important to stop, take time and give thanks:
- Many of us take our health for granted. We push ourselves to the limits, disregard stress levels, eat and sleep erratically. It's only when we or someone close to us receives a health warning that we start to appreciate the importance of being more respectful of our health. But taking better care of ourselves minimizes stress and improves our quality of life. And then if we do occasionally need to cope with stressful times we are healthier and better equipped to do so.
- Family and friends are often such an accepted part of our lives that we forget to give thanks for them, their support, annoying habits and sometimes unsolicited interference and advice. Finding ways to value and appreciate these relationships and learn to interact appropriately with others are important elements in becoming a functioning human being, able to live a satisfying and successful life in the big wide world away from home and familiar surroundings.
- Often the weather provides us with many reasons to complain but we should take time to give thanks for the seasons, even if we sometimes experience them all in one day! As Winter approaches we can give thanks and consider the different nuances of each season. We can enjoy our homes in different ways throughout the year. Celebrate family, friends, by making our homes more cosy and intimate in the Winter months.
- Many of us may compare ourselves to others. We may see other people as having luxurious homes, wonderful clothes, regular holidays to exotic locations, enviable lifestyles. But those people may well wish that they spent less time at work, more time together as a family. Often business and professional success brings compromises in other areas of life. Finding a balance is often the major challenge.
- Minor inconveniences often bring unexpected opportunities to be appreciative. Forgetting your mobile phone allows quiet time to yourself. The day without our car means we have to walk and consequently discover surprising things about our neighborhood  Even the disappointment of being let down enables us to find out how resourceful we are, as we're forced to find a solution to the situation.
- When a special relationship ends badly an important consideration is to remind ourselves how important the relationship was to us once upon a time. We learned to love, share, co-exist and that's something to be thankful for, even if it didn't work out as we would have liked. We may also have learned what we don't want and that's important too.
- Similarly, when someone close to us dies it is hoped that eventually we'll be able to give thanks for their life, the time we shared together, the importance they played in our life, what they meant to us.
- Having a job we dislike can be improved by an adjustment in our perspective. Being thankful for having a job, earning money, having a reason to get up in the morning, something that many people would be grateful for can help to improve our outlook. Using our dissatisfaction as the impetus to take control of our life can be a valuable catalyst for change. It can propel us to take action; to start studying, research what else we could do, discover viable ways to move on.
Stopping occasionally to give thanks for family and friends, the important things in life, our health, home, quality of life is important to do from time to time. Being appreciative of what we have grounds us and reminds of what really matters in life. Giving thanks provides an interlude to value what we have before we once again resume our lives.
Susan Leigh is a long established counsellor and hypnotherapist who works with clients to help with relationship conflict, stress, assertiveness and confidence issues. She works with individual, clients, couples and in corporate situations.
Her book 'Dealing with Death - Coping with the pain' is a self help book dealing with loss, grief and endings in many different life situations. The loss of a loved person, animal, relationship, career is a devastating blow that this book helps the reader work through.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit


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