This year, make Thanksgiving about gratitude. Whether your looking forward to seeing loved ones, or dreading holiday travel, whatever your state of mind, research shows that focusing on gratitude can produce many benefits to your mind, body and spirit.

  • Improve mood
  • Increase positivity and optimism
  • Reduce stress
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce tension and worry
  • Increase empathy
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve life satisfaction

Want to incorporate these benefits long after Thanksgiving?

Try these tips:

  • Each evening jot down three things you are grateful for. It could be anything; hot water, your child finishing their homework without arguing, an open check-out lane, the medical scare was just a scare. Nothing is too great or too small.
  • Bring your children into the process. On a piece of paper, have them write (or draw) one thing each day they are grateful for. Have them fold it up and place it in a jar. At the next Thanksgiving, or the end of the year, open up the pieces of paper and take turns reading them aloud.
  • Choose a loved one such as a partner, parent or friend. Each day, take turns sharing one thing you are grateful for. This allows you to focus on gratitude while building deeper connections.
  • Have you heard that you cannot simultaneously feel grateful and fearful? Next time you are feeling nervous or worried, think of the things in your life that you appreciate. Identify circumstances, situations or people that make your life meaningful.
  • When in doubt, say “Thank you”. A simple thank you goes a long way toward making others feel appreciated and supporting your own well-being.


Need help to add more gratitude and resilience into your life? Are you interested in improving your overall health, happiness and well being? Call (201) 488-6678 to learn more.


By Anna Sandbank, LCSW, Director of Integrative Mind-Body Health, Specialized Therapy Associates, Fx Med Centers, Xceptional You