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How thanksgiving makes you more resilient (+ exercises)

The power of giving thanks will transform your entire life. In fact, you will perceive nature and the people around you differently.

from Tanja | Wilderness education | no comment yet | reading time 5 Min
Updated on 06 November 2023 9.193 views 100% found this guide helpful
How thanksgiving makes you more resilient (+ exercises)


From Tanja .

👉 The key facts from this guide

  • The thanksgiving is a simple but powerful routine to strengthen your connection with nature and mindfulness.
  • Your mindset plays a crucial role in all life situations, including surviving in nature.
  • Gratitude directs your attention to the good things in life without ignoring pain and tragedies.
  • Through thanksgiving, you deepen your connection to the elements and highlight the mutual dependency of all living beings.
  • The appreciation and emotions generated by gratitude strengthen your resilience (mental resistance).
  • Integrate thanksgiving into your everyday life to positively influence your inner attitude and perception.

Imagine being able to not only deepen your connection with nature, but also redirect and strengthen your entire mindset with just one routine in a positive way.

In a certain sense, all core routines of wilderness education do exactly that, but this one is so simple that it is often underestimated.

The power contained in gratitude will change your entire life.

Actually, you will perceive nature and the people around you differently. It will give you an inner stability.

You reconnect directly with your primal trust.

Thanksgiving as a Routine

Maybe you're wondering how "expressing gratitude" can be a routine for developing a connection with nature and mindfulness. Allow me to explain it to you.

When we think of outdoor activities, of Bushcraft, Survival training or even climbing and hiking, it is all about doing something physical.

But if you have already delved deeper into the topic of "survival", you will have noticed how important your mindset is in an emergency situation.

In case of doubt, your mindset determines whether your situation leads from the struggle for survival back to life.

Your mindset plays a crucial role in all situations in life
Your mindset plays a crucial role in all situations in life

When it comes to gratitude, it's about remember all the things that enable one's life. Like fresh air, clean water, and food.

Just as our media mostly reminds us daily of what is not going well in this world, the gratitude reminds us of what is going well.

To what strengthens you and what you and all people already receive every day as a gift.

It is aimed at the "Have" side of your brain, instead of constantly focusing on the "Should".

Be gentle. Become soft and lift your heart to feel gratitude. Leave everything behind and listen when someone has a story to tell. Take the time to say "thank you" and write thank-you letters. Discover the extraordinary in the ordinary and admire it.
– Ellen Hass

Neurobiological speaking, it mainly takes repetitions to develop new brain patterns.

The expression of gratitude should become a habit for you. This will support you in positively influencing your inner attitude and perception throughout your entire life.

What gratitude is not

How often do you read or hear about how important positive thinking is. This typically goes hand in hand with perceiving every situation in life positively. That's not what gratitude teaches you.

Gratitude directs your attention to the good things as described above.

But without ignoring the pain and tragedies of life.

danksagung lenkt aufmerksamkeit auf positive dinge

These things are also there and have a right to exist solely because of that. Through deep connection with nature, it can even lead to a kind of sadness and world pain, as you become more sensitive to the destruction and mistreatment of our planet.

This routine will help you, step by step, to make the choice in every moment to direct your perception towards the things that nourish you.

Indeed, it is your resources that are strengthened, with which you master the small and big dramas of life.

The Earth and the incessantly pulsating life around you, the recurring cycles, all of this will help you navigate through difficult situations.

Thanks and Connection to Nature

If you take a moment to see the beauty in this world and in the elements - dragonfly wings, puddles glistening in the sun, the shadows of branches dancing on the forest floor, or the shapes of the flames from your campfire - you deepen your connection to each individual element.

Gratitude highlights the interdependence of all living beings and reminds you that humans and nature are interconnected.

You reconnect with your primal trust. A deep trust that everything has its time, just as everything in nature has its place and returns again and again.

The appreciation and emotions that arise from this are so powerful that they directly impact your nervous system and will increase your resilience (psychological resilience).

Exactly the ability that people need to survive difficult life situations without major damage.

Especially in times of crisis, it is a very valuable tool to not lose inner peace amidst all the chaos.

What you see depends on what you're looking for

How gratitude affects your perception, you can immediately see in a small experiment. Take a moment now to do that.

danksagung froehlich

Look around your room now. Let your gaze wander and then focus on all rectangular objects.

Can you see them? Are they now standing out from the other things? Now focus your attention on everything that is round. What changes? Do these objects now stand out?

This experiment can be repeated with all shapes and colors, and it will always lead to the same result. It confirms that your brain patterns allow you to perceive exactly what you focus your attention on as reality.

That sounds very spiritual at first, but it is mostly simple neuroscience.

Also read

8 underestimated skills of Indigenous peoples of America - and what we should learn again - The Indigenous peoples of America were incredibly skilled in everyday life. Find here a list of survival skills that we should learn from.

Stay alive: sing and dance

I start every day with a small expression of gratitude. It is an integral part of my connection to nature.

Moreover, at the beginning of a course, I always find it wonderful to say a few words of thanks. Whether it's for everyone being here or for us now being able to explore this forest together and have exciting experiences.

Every one of my courses and my sitting spot routine I also conclude with a “Thank You”. In everyday life, when I wash dishes or stand under the shower, I like to sing a song to thank the water.

In many original cultures, people express their gratitude through songs and dances.

You see, it doesn't always have to be the big ritual, and it doesn't always have to look the same. Often, it's the little things that have a big impact.

It must become a habit and inner attitude for you. Your gratitude should always remain free and alive.

She doesn't have to have a constant form. That would eventually turn it into a loveless ritual.

You can express your gratitude in so many different ways, and it's completely okay if you find your own way.

My inspiration to complete a course

The traditional thanksgiving of the Iroquois people begins with the gathering of people "As if they shared one thought and one heart".

Then their thanks are directed to:

  • the people
  • the earth
  • the water
  • the plants
  • the animals
  • the trees
  • the birds
  • the wind and the clouds
  • the moon, the sun, and the stars
  • the forces of the four cardinal directions
  • the ancestors
  • the spirit that moves in everything

While expressing our gratitude, we fly over every level of the landscape and look around to whom we want to express our appreciation.

I find this always very touching, and it is difficult to describe in words the atmosphere that arises between us.

A small exercise for your everyday life

Now I would like to give you a little exercise for getting started. Something that you can easily do in the morning right from your bed.

Before you jump up when the alarm clock rings because the day awaits you with all its duties and challenges, take a moment. This precious time of the day belongs only to you.

danksagung aufwachen

Take two to three deep breaths into your belly. Focus only on that. Feel how your lungs fill, how your belly rises and falls. How you live.

Formulate a thought of gratitude now and only then get up and let everyday life in.

Maybe you are grateful that the blackbird is already singing outside your window in the morning, or that you can enjoy a warm shower right away, have a cozy bed, or for the beauty of raindrops on your window.

Whatever comes to your mind, please let us know in the comments.

And if you want to discover more routines and ideas, then read: 33 Tips for More Nature Connectedness - How to Strengthen Your Connection with Nature.


Author of the guide


Ich bin Tanja, Wildnismentorin mit ganzem Herzen und ich unterstütze dich dabei wieder eine wirklich intensive Verbindung zur Natur aufzubauen. Finde mich hier auf Instagram oder auf meiner Website.

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Free 35 Survival Hacks you'll love!

You will get 35 easy-to-implement survival hacks so that you don't have to stand aimlessly in the forest from tomorrow when things get tough. Take your skills to the next level!