Did you know that in the United States more people go home for Thanksgiving than for Christmas? And yet, no presents are exchanged. It’s simply about returning home on the third Thursday in November to share a meal, spend time together and be with close family. Having a day when you give thanks for your good fortune and the special relationships in your life is what it’s all about.

In Britain we may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but we can still take a moment to reflect on what’s important.

We may have good reasons to complain about the weather but we should pause and give thanks for the seasons, even if we do sometimes experience them all in one day! People who move to sunnier climes often say that our variable seasons are what they really miss the most.

As winter approaches we can enjoy our homes in different ways. Indoor entertaining, meals, board games and ensuring that our homes are cosy and intimate are all things we can be thankful for.

Even so, it can be tempting to compare ourselves to others and envy their luxurious homes and lifestyles. Behind the scenes those people may have their own regrets, perhaps wishing they spent less time at work, had more time together as a family. Reflect on what you do have and be grateful for the roof over your head, the food in the cupboard and people in your life.

How do you look at challenges? If you forget your mobile phone don’t panic and instead be grateful for the opportunity to have some enforced quiet time in a busy life. If your car needs repairing why not appreciate the opportunity to walk and discover interesting things about your neighbourhood. Even if your plans have to change because you’ve been let down value discovering how resourceful you can be when you’re forced to find solutions to problems.

Sometimes a special relationship may end badly. Remind yourself that even though coping today may be tough, you’ve learned a lot during the relationship; how to love, share, co-exist. Give thanks for those lessons. And interestingly, tough times often give us valuable insights about what we don't want too!

Giving thanks can help us appreciate the light and shade in life, those people, pets and experiences we’re shared, the good and the bad, not always in easy ways, but important as part of life’s journey.

Susan Leigh, Altrincham Counsellor & Hypnotherapist www.lifestyletherapy.net