I wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving. I am undoubtedly thankful for YOU.
The kind people at the South Platte Sentinel, beginning with Delinda Korrey in 2010, said, “Yes,” to this recently retired psychotherapist who wanted to continue her quest to offer mental health tips and thoughts through a weekly column titled “Mental Matters.” Instead of face-to-face sessions from the Counseling Center at the Old Library Inn, I began another method to continue helping.
After my youngest sister died in 2017, I stopped the column because I didn’t feel I had much to offer during my grief process. It wasn’t long before I knew I missed writing the weekly article. Without it, I lost an essential connection with people, and I quickly realized how beneficial writing was for ME. Oprah Winfrey was right when she said, “Helping others is the way we help ourselves.”
The book I wrote after retiring, My Clients My Teacher: The Noble Process of Psychotherapy, exemplifies how help is a two-way process: I shared my thoughts and solutions, and in return, clients taught me so much about determination and hard work behind mental wellness. Experiencing clients’ courage to own their struggles and change their thoughts helped me become more confident in the process and benefits of mental health counseling. Every day, I think of someone who had the self-respect to pick up the phone, ask for an appointment, and walk into my office. The healthiest people are those who can say, “I need some help with this.” I admire their strength and triumphs.
Thanksgiving Day reminds us to give thanks, count our blessings, appreciate what we have and who we know, and give credit to those who support our efforts. It is a day to provide and accept priceless smiles, time, and kindness.
As we greet Thanksgiving tomorrow, remember to improve your mental health by acknowledging gratitude, no matter how you’re spending the day. Good quality of life involves the contributions of many people. We are not in this alone, thank goodness. Take time to focus on who and what deserves your attention. The power of positive thought is real, and what we think directly connects us to how we feel about life and how we respond to others. It’s a package deal. It’s also magical—more thankful thoughts increase more thankful thoughts: 2 x 2 = 4, and 2 x 0 = zero. Being mindful of the good in life improves the good in life.
I could bore you with my long list of thankfulness, but there’s no need. You have your unique list, and that’s the most important.
Eat turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie, but do yourself a favor and identify your large, medium, and small gratitudes. What we don’t appreciate depreciates.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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