FCC’s Rooted in Strength…taking care of our families and ourselves resource has a short article by Dr. Georges Sabongui that describes 5 simple ways to boost serotonin. Serotonin is sometimes known as the happiness chemical, a neurotransmitter believed to help regulate mood, sleep, memory, and more.
Sabongui suggests we can build resilience by maximizing our natural serotonin levels with good sleep, smiling, sports, social contact face to face, and spirituality. He suggests spirituality is a connection to something bigger than ourselves.
As a woman of faith, my connection to God is a key factor in building resilience. At this time of Thanksgiving, I would encourage everyone, regardless of your worldview, to practice gratitude.
It’s been a tough 20 months, and we don’t know when the Great Pause is going to be history. I do know that counting our blessings, even when farming has been disappointing and cash flows are tight, we can still find things to be grateful for.
Strong families celebrate. I encourage you to find a few soybeans, peas, lentils, or corn kernels to put on your supper plate. Have everyone at the table mention 2 things they are thankful for in the past year. If people are super uncomfortable about sharing they can pass, and someone else who is brave might like to add a few things to encourage the silent person.
As farmers, we have a tangible example every harvest of ways to be thankful. It’s easy to be thankful when the hopper fills quickly, but how can one cultivate a grateful heart when the bins of life are not overflowing?
Being grateful is a conscious decision.
Can you be thankful for your daily bread, that your basic needs are still being met?
With an attitude of thankfulness for the quality of life, we enjoy on the prairies, large open spaces to listen, supportive friends, let’s look down the road and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
There’s a wooden sign in our home that is our “life verse” as a reminder to be thankful.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6,7.
Many farm advisors would agree that the definition of success for farm families is having everyone coming home happily at Thanksgiving (or Christmas) to share the turkey. The 2021 drought, grasshoppers, selling off prized herds, and a multitude of other stresses may have you wondering what you might be thankful about this year. Come to the table prepared to bless the other members of your family with your presence and love.
Say a prayer of thanks for the circle of love and nurturing that you have experienced. Commit to celebrating the things in life that foul weather, pandemics, and tough times cannot steal- your love for one another.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God, my Saviour.” Habakkuk 3:17-18.
“Habukkuk teaches us that joy is not dependent on circumstances but can be embraced at the worst of times,” writes Mike Mason in Champagne for the Soul. Mason says that happiness doesn’t just happen, it is an act of the will.
Thankfulness is a choice.
If you’re needing a boost of serotonin this season, go back to the basics. Get good sleep or reach out for help to accomplish this. Smile at people. Visit people face to face or pick up the phone. Walk down the lane with your spouse. Look up to the vast prairie sky and say thank you for life.
If your family dynamic is wounded or wobbly due to unmet expectations or confusion of roles as you transition, reach out for help. I’m here to help you get harmony through understanding. Gather to celebrate this Thanksgiving and continue to build a strong legacy for your farm family.
I’m thankful you took the time to read this. Let me know how your farming journey is going.
Blessing to all.
Elaine Froese, CAFA, CSP, CHI Coach is wired to help farm families find harmony through understanding.
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