Relaxing is an Art

Sometimes when we enter this time of year, we find stress. It's a friend that many of us know well. However, it doesn't have to be.

I think November is a great time to sit back and take stock of our blessings. Thanksgiving is a week away, and all of us have many things to be thankful for. Many of us have family, friends, a home to keep us dry and warm, and employment to help us provide for ourselves.

We have food in abundance available and if we are fortunate, we have health and strength. There is the wonderful freedoms we experience living in one of the best countries on the planet -- even if you don't live in the US or Canada -- I'll bet you are thankful for your homeland.

There was a book written several years ago that my mom gave me. It was a book about gratitude. In the book she suggested that you keep a gratitude journal and write down five things each day that you are grateful for.

I did it faithfully for awhile, and then discovered that I would rather enumerate my thankfulness to Heavenly Father in prayer than write them down each night. Writing them down seemed monotonous and repetitive, as if I weren't finding anything new in each day. It became a burden, when it was supposed to be helping me find peace.

I agree that writing in a journal is important and we should list our blessings each day -- but sometimes when life seems stressed, it's time to take a breath and relax.

Find a quiet place, grab a notebook, a piece of chocolate (or 2), a cup of chocolate or herbal tea, and give yourself a half hour. If a half hour is too long, take fifteen minutes -- but you need the time. You've heard the Peter Pan Mantra -- Find your happy place? This is the time to do it.

Sit and close your eyes and think about your life. What are you thankful for? The way your hubby fixed the squeaky chair for you? Or how he prepared dinner the other night to give you a break? How about your children...what have they done that bring blessings into your life?

There is so much to be thankful for. Just a few moments of thinking about it, and you'll be able to list them out on the paper. Just keep going. Think of as many as possible and see how full you can get the paper.

You might be surprised what you come up with.


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