A Day of Gratitude

Long time readers of this column know that I love Thanksgiving for its simplicity of coming together as friends and family with no commercial agenda. Engaging in spirited discussion, eating too much, and rooting for football teams are hallmarks of a day of contentment.

I always marvel at the variety of ethnic adaptations that different cultures bring to the day. If you didn’t hear “The Sporkful: Thanksgiving is for Eaters”, it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Beyond the holiday elements, I think of Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the things that mean the most to you.

The health benefits of gratitude are well documented. Expressing gratitude reduces stress, makes you calmer, and can improve your immune system. And you can do that today while eating and sharing with family and friends.

Gratitude can change your state in an instant. You can dissipate the ill effects of a stressful moment by thinking about two or three things for which you’re grateful. When you create an attitude of gratitude, you improve your mental and physical health.

So in the midst of today’s “good” stress – entertaining guests, wondering if the turkey will taste good, figuring out how you can count the desserts as zero calories – take a moment for gratitude. It will make an already wonderful day into an even better one.

Have a great holiday!


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