For some of us, this Thanksgiving will be filled with joy. But, for others, there is sorrow. And, yet, for others of us, there is a mixed bag of joy and sorrow. But no matter what your experiences in the past, you can learn to transform yourself for a better experience this Thanksgiving. How? The answer is the eat, pray, love triad. That is, transformation can take place through focusing on the body, mind, soul connection.
Just Eat For Your Body?
Research shows that there is a connection between the mind and the body. Many of us know this. We know that we can facilitate this connection through focusing on the body. The problem is, when relatives visit or we are stuck driving from one home to the other, or we are in the kitchen for hours cooking a turkey, the body gets put on the back-burner. Our senses are filled with the smells and textures of the food. Then we may eat until we feel stuffed. We need the nutrition, but some of us may feel sick or guilty. So, we need to keep on focusing on eat, pray, love to get us through – to help us transform. Here are some ideas for connecting to your body, besides eating, this Thanksgiving.
- Explore a new exercise program like Tai Chi or Yoga. Get a new video and wake up one hour before the others to get your exercise on and get ready for the day!
- Get the family to take a walk after dinner to look at all the pretty holiday decorations around the neighborhood. Hint: Kids love to go for walks!
- Put on a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt around the neighborhood for the kids. That way, you’ll get some exercise and so will others around you.
- Do some simple exercises in the kitchen: Stretches, leg lifts, push ups on the wall or chair, or squats. The point is, move!
- If there is room, relocate your stair-stepper or stationary bicycle in the kitchen and ride for 10 minutes at least 3x during the day, while cooking, for a total of 30 minutes of exercise.
- Get a 30-minute massage or Acupuncture treatment near your home. 10-15 minute drive to and fro. You can do this in under an hour. Come on, you deserve it!
Pray For Your Mind
While exercising your body, try exercising your mind. Connect to prayer, whatever that looks like for you. Perhaps you have always wanted to try meditation or a new kind of prayer. Perhaps you just need to focus more on leading a prayerful life, yet you are happy in your tradition. Since this Thanksgiving you may be too busy to exercise and do prayers, why not combine them?
Here are some suggestions for combining the body with prayer:
- Focus on a meditative state while riding the stationary bicycle or getting a massage. Focus on not thinking but creating a blank mind, instead.
- Focus on feeling the exercise. What does your body feel like at this time? Focus on connecting the body and mind to create a euphoric feeling.
- Try giving yourself an inspirational mantra. Here’s one you’ve probably heard before from psychologist, Emile Coue: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Change the statement to make it yours and reflect what you want to accomplish this Thanksgiving.
- Do your daily prayers while you take that walk or exercise on the stepper, or receive acupuncture.
- Appreciate the beauty in the leaves and the sky and the lights as you take a walk with your family – and smile and give thanks.
Love For Your Soul
During Thanksgiving, some of us feel so stressed. That is why we need exercise and prayer to help us manage physical and mental reactions to the stress. But the third thing we need is the last member of the eat, pray, love triad. It helps us with the mind-body connection as well. It is this one that can be difficult when we are caught in the same difficult interactions with family, or the same thoughts within our mind. These interactions are almost like computers. Someone says something and you react with anger or hurt. They pushed the button, and you reacted like a computer is trained to do. The holidays come around and you feel sad. Try some of these exercises as well to cultivate your soul.
- When someone says something you don’t like, walk away. It is hard to do, but try it this time. Instead of fight, pick flight.
- Focus on breath. Take 3 deep breaths in and out, slowly, when you feel upset.
- Smile a lot. Research has shown that smiling can reduce stress.
- When you are feeling bad, go for a walk. A walk can do wonders sometimes, and you will connect to your body and mind and feel happier.
- Serve others. Find someone to give to. Maybe it’s a relative or friend that you rarely speak with. Maybe it’s a person in the hospital, at your worship center, or at the grocery store. Sit and talk with them. Listen to their wants and desires. People love to be heard. Don’t just focus on yourself. Focus on another. This will make you feel good and put a smile on your face.
Eat, Pray, Love For Your Body, Mind, Soul Now
This Thanksgiving you can harness the power of eat, pray, love or body, mind, soul. Focus on your body through a new exercise, your mind through prayer, meditation or positive affirmations, and your soul through connecting with others and giving love. Transform Thanksgiving 2017. You can do it. Begin now.