Thanksgiving is here and it’s the perfect holiday to gobble some savory foods with family and friends and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. Football, food, catnaps, and pie, what’s not to love?! In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re sharing the benefits of practicing gratitude all year long.

Did you know that living in a state of gratitude can help you to reduce stress, think clearer, and heal faster? According to the broaden-and-build model, gratitude not only makes people feel good in the present, but it also increases the likelihood that people will function optimally and feel good in the future.

Gratitude is said to be one of the important keys to finding happiness and success in today’s age. If we know what we appreciate in life, it means we know who we are, what matters to us, and what makes each day worthwhile. Paying attention to what we feel grateful for connects us to the world around us and to ourselves. If you really want to gobble up some information on how focusing on what we are grateful for keeps us feeling happier and more fulfilled, check out this research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough titled: Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life.

Gratitude is like a muscle. The more we work it, the stronger it gets! Here are five ways you can practice Thanksgiving every day of the year:

1. Write Down Daily What You’re Thankful For – Keeping a daily gratitude journal allows you to stay focused on the positives versus harboring on the negative. Once you start writing, you’ll see there’s so much more good in your life then you may even realize!

2. Move More, Sit Less – Have you ever noticed how your mind tends to wander while you exercise? Staying active helps keep your body healthy and it can also help your overall outlook. As you start your workout, try to focus on being in a state of gratitude and take your mind on an amazing journey!

3. Just Say “No” To Negative Social Media – Regardless of what social media platform you frequent, there are always those comments, pictures, and videos about something negative going on in the world. What if everyone shared thoughts, quotes, and pictures coming from a place of gratitude, fun, and love? We don’t live in a perfect world, but you can do your part by filling your social streams with more good – Live In Gratitude…pass it on!

4. Say “Thank You” – Pleasantries are becoming a thing of the past. Maybe it’s because sending a quick text, email, tweet, etc., may be a faster way of communication, but it’s amazing how a simple “thank you” can change a conversation. Make it a goal to say “thank you” more to your family, friends, and coworkers for all they do!

5. Write A Good Ole’ Fashioned Letter – If you search hard enough, you’ll find some pen and paper hiding somewhere in your home. Letter writing is fading away in this age of technology. How do you feel when you get a card or note in the mail from someone? Probably so excited it’s not a bill or advertisement it’s perhaps the first thing you open. Writing a letter of gratitude to someone has double the benefits; you feel better and it’s almost guaranteed the person receiving it will feel the same way!

From everyone at Loudoun Family Wellness, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful that you choose our office for your family’s health and wellness needs.