Grateful People are Healthier People

Some people may associate the Thanksgiving holiday with an endless array of food which lasts all day. Other people may think of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football games on television. However, if people want to have the happiest of holidays, they should focus on associating Thanksgiving with gratitude and thanks. According to Psychologist Dr. Michael R. Mantell, PhD in his article “How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving”, research has shown that if people want to feel more satisfied, they should incorporate gratitude into their holidays this year. This satisfaction and gratitude, will in turn, lead to a healthier holiday.

Many people forget to appreciate the little things in life and may take friends and family for granted. In Dr. Mantell’s article, he explains how individuals that are grateful tend to be more optimistic and satisfied with their lives. Also, they have higher lives of positive emotions and eliminate much of the stress in their lives. Dr. Mantell states, “Thanksgiving could be the healthiest day of the year for you, adding longevity and well-being, if you know how to cultivate gratitude.”

Dr. Mantell has several recommendations for how you can experience a healthier holiday:

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Several times a week write down something in your life that you are grateful for. You can simply state, “I am grateful for _______ because __________.” By recognizing what it is you are thankful for, you will develop a more optimistic perspec

  1. On Thanksgiving Day, place a gratitude bowl or basket on the table. Then, write each person’s name on a slip of paper with the sentence, “I am grateful for (guest’s name) because_______.” The basket or bowl can be passed around the table prior to the meal. Each person can read aloud the slip of paper they chose and complete the sentence according to the individual.
  2. Express Appreciation

While everyone is gathered around the table, ask each guest to express appreciation for someone, whether they are present there or not. Have them continue to say how this individual has impacted their life in a positive way.

  1. Place Cards

As the host or hostess of the event, have a place card at each guest’s seat. On the card, thank him or her for something specific they have done. This will make the meal more about gratitude and less about the food.

As you apply these simple ideas to your life this Thanksgiving, you can focus on being thankful for everything you have been blessed with. By expressing your gratitude for the people in your life, you can truly enjoy the benefit of a more positive and healthier life. This Thanksgiving could be the most memorable one yet, so spend time appreciating what you have and embracing the positive emotions that accompany it.


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