While Thanksgiving is a time where we actively make it a point to be thankful for the things we have, sometimes that feeling of gratitude is short lived (especially with Black Friday, a day focused on getting things you don't have, starting earlier and earlier every year). As a teenager, you're going to face tough times, which means it's even more important to reflect often on the things that you are blessed with to keep a positive perspective on life. Here are just a few things to be grateful for.

1. Your Family

There's nothing quite like family and if you have parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, etc., you should consider yourself very blessed. For many, family is the solid rock that's there when they're needed and there are so many reasons to be grateful for that. For some, however, that isn't the case, which leads us to our next item: Best Friends.

2. Best Friends

A true best friend will inspire you, challenge you in positive ways, support you through tough times, and be a listening ear when you need to vent. If you have a friend that checks those boxes, be thankful; they're hard to find!


3. Other People in Your Life

Family and friends aren't the only people to be thankful for. Reflect on this past year and who has acted as a source of inspiration for you. A teacher? A coach? A friend's parent? Anyone who is a positive role model in your life is someone to be grateful for.


4. Health

If you have good health, there are so many reasons to be grateful. Many children suffer daily with health problems and if you're not one of them, it's easy to take your health for granted. Remind yourself often that you are lucky to wake up healthy and able to live each day (even if the day feels like a bad one).

5. Your Pets!

If you have a pet (or two, or three, or four...), they are something to be grateful for everyday. Even if you're feeling down, the unconditional love a pet has for you can be a source of joy. Don't have a pet? You can still experience the love a pet has. Find a local animal shelter and (with your parents permission) volunteer once a week to take dogs for a walk, manage their social media to help increase adoption rates, and more!


6. The Beauty of Nature Around You

Even in times when you feel like you don't have any of the above going for you, stop and appreciate the beauty of nature around you. It's hard not to feel a sense of peace when stomping through crunchy leaves or tossing up a pile of fresh, powdery snow.


7. Books & Music

Still feeling down despite the above? Become a princess from the 1800s or a detective in the CIA by picking up a new book and delving deep into its pages. Books aren't your fav? No worries! Find a reallllly good playlist on Spotify and jam out for an hour!


8. The Ability to Get Through Challenges

As a teen, you're going to go through challenges; it's just part of life. No matter the obstacles you encounter, though, you have the ability to get through them. You're resilient and brilliant and can overcome anything. 

9. Your Ability to Spread Kindness

If all else fails, show your gratitude by showing kindness to everyone. You have the ability to spread kindness around the world at no cost to you. Smile at someone in the hall, invite someone to sit with you at lunch, help your sibling with their homework. There's no limit to the amount of kindness you can spread if you set your mind to it!

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by Brenley herrera

Love these encouraging words! I will definitely be using this as a guide to get through toughs days, and also good ones!