Today is Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It is a day when I usually sleep in, take a walk, watch the Macy’s Holiday Day parade, visit family and friends, cook and eat lots of food, watch a little football and some years go to the movies. This year I won’t be doing any cooking.

During the dinner meal is a wonderful  time for everyone including children to share what they are thankful for. I am grateful for the wonderful meal that is being prepared for me. I have lots more to be thankful for including the birth of my granddaughter 3 months ago. Since my dinner is being taken care of by someone else I went to Safeway and participated in their Hunger Bag program by making a purchase to support local food banks. I also sent a floral arrangement to decorate the home I will be celebrating in.

Research shows that thankful people are happier. The Institute of HeartMath has recognized that being thankful improves the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically. Doesn’t that sound good? Remember it is physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.

Being in a state of thankfulness is doable. Let’s build a strong muscle of thankfulness. The more we work this muscle the stronger it gets. Here are a couple of ways to develop and grow this muscle. Today Thanksgiving would be a great day to start a gratitude journal. Write down what happened each day that you are thankful for.

On a daily basis, tell someone how thankful you are for something. Could be their friendship. Tell fellow employees, friends, family, and even perfect strangers! Let’s help make this a world of grateful, thankful giving and receiving people.

If you are taking a walk you could add saying out loud what you are thankful for. Doing this first thing in the morning will lead to your having a positive day.

How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Whether you practice a traditional Thanksgiving celebration or are making new traditions and memories, I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday!

Quotes on Thanksgiving:

“Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.” – E.P. Powell

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” – Robert Caspar Lintner

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” – W.T. Purkiser