How Thanksgiving Can Help You Overcome Heartache

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How Thanksgiving Can Help You Overcome Heartache [EXPERT]
Don't wallow in grief! Thanksgiving can help you heal.

If you actually don't think you have anything to be grateful for, try any of the following:

  1. Look around for someone in worse shape than you. I am sure you can find someone.
  2. Help out. Don't just find someone worse off than you, volunteer to help someone who needs something you can offer.
  3. Make a list of all the people and things you have for which you are grateful.
  4. Write thank you notes. Send to anyone that helped you during your time of need.
  5. Focus on your unique talents, skills and abilities. Identify what makes you special and allow others to see it too.
  6. Distract yourself. Your attention and energy follow your focus. Engage in a creative hobby. Experience the arts. Get out in nature. For whatever period of time you are able to distract yourself, you will be free of negative energy.
  7. Look for the positives. In "negative" experiences, there is always an equal amount of positivity if you are willing to look for it. You will find there is a gift, a lesson or an opportunity in that experience just waiting for you to notice. Shift your focus to that part.

If you have gone through a divorce and are ready to begin living again, ask yourself the following question: In what ways are you better without this person in your life? Did you learn something about yourself, relationships or life in general based upon what happened? Was it good this happened now instead of ten years from now? Do you have opportunities before you that you haven't been able to see because of the negative energy you've been generating?

Divorce, as with any experience, is always a two-sided coin. On one side is the pain, anguish, suffering and sadness; the other side is joy, happiness, wisdom and opportunity. You can choose to focus on what you've lost or you can look at what you have left or what's been gained. Make a decision about which side you want to look at.

Will that take the pain away? No, the pain and sadness will still exist, but it will be joined with a balance of positive energy to neutralize the experience. Learning to accept what actually "is" in your life is a wonderful gift. You can't change it so staying stuck in mantra's such as, "It's not fair," "I didn't do anything to deserve this," or "How could he/she do this to me?" will only create your own personal misery.

If you're ready to look at the positive side, use this Thanksgiving as your catalyst. See if you can make a list of at least 100 things for which to be grateful. And on Thanksgiving Day, you will be able to genuinely give thanks for the bounty you have in your life.

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Kim Olver

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Kim Olver, LCPC, has been featured in Whole Living, Women's World, Fitness Magazine and Counseling Today and is the best-selling, award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life.

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Location: Country Club Hills (Chicago), IL
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