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Let’s Talk Turkey; 7 Killer Recipes to Rescue Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Let’s Talk Turkey; 7 Killer Recipes to Rescue Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

You did it again didn’t you? You bought the 25 pound turkey! Here are 7 Killer recipes to rescue your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Let’s face it, we only get turkey once or twice a year and we love it. The trouble is that after a couple of nights of non-stop turkey, you are ready to give it up until next Thanksgiving and hope no one in your family serves it for Christmas.

Thanksgiving, and Christmas for that matter, are wonderful opportunities to make homemade meals with very little time, money and effort since the main protein of the meal, the turkey, is already cooked and ready to go. Once that herculean task is completed, all you have to do is come up with delicious ways of using the leftovers. Simple Right? Right?

Fear not! This year we are giving you a jump-start on your post Thanksgiving meal planning.

Here are 7 terrific recipes you can whip up right after Thanksgiving and give your family a special treat. You can also freeze many of them for the crazy busy evenings in December when you don’t have time to create a whole meal and Chinese takeout is your only other option.

Super Simple Turkey Pot Pie

P1040880

    Ingredients:

    Two 9 inch frozen pie crusts

    2 ribs of celery

    1/2 onion, chopped

    3 T Olive Oil

    1 can of Campbell’s Garlic Mushroom Soup

    1 cup milk

    1 cup cooked turkey cut into bite sized pieces

    1/2 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (you can also use chopped fresh vegetables of your choice.)

    Here is what to do:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

    Take the pie crusts out of the package and let them sit for about 20 minutes or until they are almost thawed.

    Put one of the pie crusts in the oven and bake until almost golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside. This will be the bottom crust for your pie.

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions and celery, cook until soft.

    In a bowl, pour the mushroom soup and milk and whisk together so there are no lumps. Pour this into the pan with the onion and celery. Heat until it bubbles. Stir constantly.

    Add the chopped turkey and frozen vegetables to the pan and continue to heat the mixture until the vegetables are thawed and heated through.

    Pour the mushroom soup mixture into the pie plate that you have already baked.

    Take the second crust that has softened and take it out of the pie tin in small pieces. Use the pieces to create a “puzzle” type pie top by placing the bits over the top of the pie filling and overlapping them slightly. When it is done, it should look like the photo above.

    Place in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.

    Serves 4

    Enjoy!

    Turkey Tortellini Soup

    tortellini 2

      This is one of my favorites because it is sooooo easy and so warm and nourishing on cold Winter’s nights. Pair this soup with the Puff Pastry Turkey Bites and you will have a fabulous meal .

      Ingredients

      1 large can and 1 small can of prepared chicken broth (You can use your own home made turkey broth. See below for instructions)

      3 T olive oil

      1 small onion, chopped

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      1 rib of celery, sliced

      2 large carrots, sliced into coins

      2 Garlic sausages cut into bite sized pieces

      1 packages refrigerated tortellini of your choice (I like spicy Italian sausage tortellini but any tortellini are delicious.)

      1 cups cooked turkey, chopped

      1 small can tomato paste

      1 t garlic salt

      1/2 t oregano

      1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

       

      Here is what to do:

      In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and when it is sizzling, add the celery and onion. Cook until soft.

      Pour the chicken or turkey broth into the soup pot and add the onion and celery mixture, the sliced carrots and the tomato paste.

      Add the black pepper, garlic salt and oregano.

      Cook until the carrots are halfway cooked (about 8 minutes).

      Add the tortellini and cook until the pasta is al dente and the carrots are soft.

      Add the garlic sausage and turkey and heat through. (2 minutes)

      Serve with Puff Pastry Turkey Bites or good quality bread.

      Serves 4

      Puff Pastry Turkey Bites

      pastry bites 2

        Who doesn’t love just a bite or two of something indulgent and delicious? With puff pastry you get buttery crisp richness in every bite. Add to that cream cheese, cheddar cheese and chopped broccoli and you have Heaven in a crispy little package. This pairs beautifully with soup or salad and makes an ordinary meal extraordinary.

        Ingredients

        Preheat oven to 400 F

        1 package of puff pastry cups (I like Athens Mini Fillo Shells because the ratio of filling to pastry is perfect.)

        one package of whipped cream cheese

        1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese

        1 cup of lightly steamed broccoli, chopped small and allowed to cool. (It should still be a little bit crunchy)

        1 cup cooked turkey chopped

        1 small tomato cut into small pieces for garnish

        Here is what to do:

        Preheat oven to 400 F

        On a greased baking sheet, lay out your puff pastry cups. Make sure they are completely thawed before adding filling.

        In a large bowl, fold together the whipped cream cheese, the grated cheddar cheese, the chopped broccoli and the turkey, making sure you are not breaking up the broccoli and turkey too much. Mix until it is well incorporated.

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        Spoon the cheese mixture into the puff pastry cups and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.

        Top the warm pastry bites with a small slice of tomato and serve immediately.

         Turkey and Black Bean Burritos with Red Sauce

        Burrito 2

          Want a spicy new take on leftover turkey? This recipe is a great change up to traditional Thanksgiving recipes and it is super simple. By starting out with jarred adobo sauce and dressing it up, you save time and still make it taste home made.

          Ingredients:

          1 package large flour tortillas

          I can cooked, seasoned black beans (Or you can make them fresh, Please see instructions below)

          1 cup cooked rice

          1 cup cooked turkey, chopped

          1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

          4 T jarred Adobo sauce

          1 8 oz. can tomato paste

          Jarred salsa of your choice

          Sour cream

          Here is what to do:

          Put the Adobo sauce mix in a sauce pan and add water 1 c water. Use the back of a spoon to crush the lumps and incorporate the mix in the water. As it cooks, add the tomato sauce and heat stirring constantly until it is fully incorporated and heated through. Set aside. (The consistency should be saucy so if you have to add more adobo or more water, please do.)

          In a large bowl, mix the rice, black beans and turkey until well mixed.

          In a skillet, heat one tortilla at a time. Take the tortilla and put a line of rice/bean filling on it. Put a pinch of grated cheese on top of the filling. Fold the top parts of the tortilla in and fold the sides, rolling the tortilla over. It should look like an envelope. (See photo)

          Place filled tortillas on an oven safe plate and pour adobo sauce over then. Cover with grated Monterey Jack cheese and heat in the oven for 10 minutes (If you are starting with cold ingredients, heat them in the microwave prior to filling the tortillas.)

          Serve with salsa and sour cream.

          Serves 6

          Here is how to cook your own black beans:

          Ingredients

          1 package black beans

          1/2 package of bacon

          2 quarts of water

          1 t garlic

          1 T onion powder

          salt and pepper to taste

          To make your own black beans you must soak them overnight. To do this, use a large pot with a lot of water. Take the beans out of the package and inspect them for small rocks that sometimes find their way into the packages. Once you have done this, rinse the beans thoroughly and place them in the pot. Cover them with water (Use a lot because the beans will absorb the water and swell. You want to ensure that even when they do this, they are still covered with water.) Place the beans in the refrigerator over night.

          To cook the beans, place them in a large pot and cover them with water. Place the chopped bacon in the pot and allow the beans to cook on medium heat until soft (Usually about an hour). If the water level falls, keep adding more as needed. The bean broth should have a soupy consistency.

          Killer Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry Pineapple Relish

          sandwich 1

            This is a wonderful new twist on the traditional after Thanksgiving favorite, the turkey sandwich. What makes this one special is the bakery fresh rolls and the cranberry pineapple relish. You are gonna love it!

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            Ingredients

            For relish

            1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

            2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

            1 1/2 cup raisins

            1 lemon, seeded and cut into quarters then sliced thinly

            1 orange sliced  seeded and cut into quarters then sliced thinly

            1/2 t ground cloves

            1/2 t ground cinnamon

            1/2 cup white vinegar

            1 cup peeled Granny Smith apples cut into bite sized chunks.

            I small can pineapple, chopped

            Here is what to do:

            In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except the cranberries, apples and pineapples.

            Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Once the mixture boils, immediately turn the heat down and simmer for another 10 minutes.

            Wash the cranberries and add them with the apples and pineapple to the mixture and simmer another 5 minutes. Once you hear the cranberries start to pop, take off heat and let cool.

            For Sandwiches

            4 bakery fresh rolls

            2 pounds of cooked turkey, sliced

            1 Tomato sliced

            4 leaves of romaine lettuce, washed and dried

            4 T Mayonnaise if desired

            Slice the rolls open and spread lightly with mayonnaise. Place the sliced turkey on the roll and put a generous helping of apple cranberry relish on top of the turkey.

            garnish with tomatoes and lettuce. Serve solo or with Turkey Tortellini Soup

            Turkey Salad Nicoise

            Salad nicoise

              For those of you who overindulged on Thanksgiving and feel the need to eat light for a few days, this one is for you. It is a Thanksgiving take on the traditional Salad Nicoise. Nice (pronounced Neese) is a city in France and Nicoise indicates that this recipe originated from this area. Instead of  the traditional tuna, we are using cooked turkey.

              Ingredients

              2 cups of cooked turkey, chopped

              2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce

              4 Roma Tomatoes quartered

              2 cups of cooked green beans

              4 hard boiled eggs

              4 small boiled potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

              4 t capers, optional

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              olive oil

              red wine vinegar

              garlic salt (optional)

              Here is what to do:

              on 4 large plates, lay out the lettuce leaves in one quarter of the plate.

              Use the rest of the plate to arrange the other vegetables, tomatoes and turkey in a nice arrangement. Slice up the hard boiled eggs and place one on each plate. Place the capers next to the lettuce.

              In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar adding each until you have the right ratio. (It may be different for different people. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the salad and, if desired, sprinkle with garlic salt, serve as a light and delicious main dish.

              Pasilla Peppers Stuffed with Turkey, Rice and Black Beans

              P1040900

                Although these sound a bit adventurous, they are sooo easy to cook. this dish not only uses leftover turkey but any rice you have leftover as well. In fact, don’t be limited to rice, beans and turkey. Stuff them with whatever you think might be good. Just season your filling to taste before using it and you will be fine.

                Ingredients:

                4 Large Fresh Pasilla Chilis

                2 cups cooked rice

                1 can seasoned black beans (If you can’t find the seasoned ones, you can season them yourself with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.)

                1 cup cooked turkey, chopped

                1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

                1/2 cup Mexican Mole sauce (I personally like Dona Maria brand.)

                1/2 cup Grated Monterey Jack cheese

                Sour cream for garnish

                Here is what you do:

                Preheat oven to 350 F

                Wash the chilis and slice them lengthwise. Take off the stem and take out the seeds. If you like your chilis hot, leave in the white membranes and veins. These are the hot parts and the more of them you leave in the hotter your chilis will be. If you don’t like it hot, use a spoon to scrape out any white parts you see.

                In a pot of boiling water, boil the chilis for 8-9 minutes or until a little bit soft.

                Take the chilis out and place them on a greased casserole dish or cookie sheet.

                In a large bowl, combine the black beans, rice, turkey and cheddar cheese. Mix well

                In a saucepan heat the mole sauce with enough water to keep the consistency of a sauce. (For more flavor. you can use chicken stock or your turkey stock, see recipe below) Use the back of a spoon to mash the mole sauce until there are no lumps and the sauce and water are well blended.

                Spoon the rice mixture into the chilis so that each one has a generous portion.

                Cover the chilis with foil and put them into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.

                Take out the chilis and drizzle the mole sauce over them. Put a pinch of Monterey Jack cheese over each one and but them back in the oven until the cheese melts (Approximately 5-8 minutes)

                Plate the chilis and garnish with a generous dollop of sour cream. Serve with a salad.

                Serves 4

                Recipe for Home Made Turkey Stock

                In a large stock pot, place 1/2 onion, roughly chopped, 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped, 1 carrot roughly chopped, 1 T cracked black peppercorns, 1 Bay leaf, and water to cover the turkey carcass.

                Break the turkey carcass in pieces so that it fits in your pot and is covered by the water. Add all other ingredients. Bring contents of the pot to a boil on the stove and immediately turn the heat down to a low simmer. Simmer for 3 hours. Then let cool.

                Take the larger pieces of turkey carcass out and discard. Using a large bowl and a cheesecloth, strain the broth into the bowl so that the broth is clear. Use this stock in soups, rice dishes, sauces and any other dish that requires liquid and in which you want to impart more flavor. You can freeze the broth for future dishes as well.

                With all of these great recipes you will have a great time using all of your Thanksgiving leftovers and your family and guests will love them.

                Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

                3.2.1337

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                Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                1. The Inner Critic

                This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                2. The Worrier

                This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                4. The Sleep Depriver

                This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                How can you control these squatters?

                How to Master Your Mind

                You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                For the Inner Critic

                When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                • They rile up the Worrier.
                • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                For the Worrier

                Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                • Muscles tense

                Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                For example:

                If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                • Muscles tension

                I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                Breathe in through your nose:

                • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                • Focus on your belly rising.

                Breathe out through your nose:

                • Feel your lungs emptying.
                • Focus on your belly falling.
                • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                For the Sleep Depriver

                (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                • Shut down your thinking.
                • Calm your feelings.
                • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                The Bottom Line

                Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                More About Mental Strength

                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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