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Make Thanksgiving a Lifestyle

America celebrated its first nationwide day of thanks in 1789 under the leadership of our first president, George Washington.

However, it wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln was president that our country had its first official Thanksgiving holiday. It’s evolved since then to include football, pre-shopping, parades, feasting, as well as setting aside a moment to express gratitude for our blessings. Unfortunately when the day is over, the gratitude goes by the wayside for another year for most of us. Thanksgiving is not just for November. If you can keep it in your heart all year, your life and the lives of those around you can be enriched every day. Why not make Thanksgiving a lifestyle?

People Who Express Gratitude Are Healthier

Grateful people take better care of themselves and live a healthier lifestyle. They tend to exercise, eat well, sleep well, get regular check-ups, and engage in healthy relationships. A healthy body is a huge contributor to a satisfying, long life.

Grateful People Have Better Relationships

People who are grateful tend to be more optimistic and easier to be around. This translates into more satisfying personal and professional relationships. They are able to balance work and play. They give more time to the people in their lives. The time that is spent is quality time, so both sides benefit from the interaction.

People Who Give Thanks Bounce Back Faster

Little disappoints and tragedies happen in every life. No one gets a free pass. However, people who give thanks for their blessings are able to bounce back faster. They see life as having meaning, even if they don’t know what that meaning is. They see bad things as random and temporary. This helps them to overcome unavoidable setbacks.

Gratitude is Associated with Success

So many people feel that when they are successful, they will be happier, will slow down, enjoy life and be more grateful. However, studies show that a grateful heart is correlated with a happier, more relaxed lifestyle that leads to more success. If you want to be successful, it’s better to focus on creating gratitude first!

If you would like these benefits to be a part of your future, start by setting aside time each day for seeing and appreciating a few things in your life that are good. It doesn’t matter how small they are. Just notice. Give an inner acknowledgement or write down a sentence or two how lucky and thankful you are. Soon you will be seeing life in a whole new way. People will respond differently to you, and Thanksgiving won’t just be a day. It will become a lifestyle.


Laura Giles, LCSW, is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.