I LOVE Thanksgiving! This is one of my favorite weeks of the year.

I mean, we actually set aside a whole day to focus on gratitude. Well, we also focus on gluttony too but as my grandmother used to say “Only too much is enough”!

Gratitude has become a popular topic recently and for good reason!

The experience of gratitude actually lowers our blood pressure and increases all those “feel good” hormones in our brain.

One of my mentors suggested a gratitude journal. Every night before I go to sleep I write three things for which I am grateful. It is a wonderful way to end the day (no matter how crazy it was) and it keeps me focused on the positive throughout the day.

All November, we have big sheets of white paper all over our office so patients can write down their statements of gratitude.

Whatever way you choose, remember to express your gratitude.

Here are ways to give thanks from an article in the Harvard Medical School (yes, you read that correctly… Harvard. Medical. School. – you know gratitude is mainstream now!)

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one, thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Thank you for being part of our WOW family and allowing us to help you and your family be healthy and happy.

Dr. Julia Keiser

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