Ask Dr. Joy: being thankful this Thanksgiving

By WEEK Producer

November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM CDT

Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie... surround the holiday... but the real meaning surrounds something more meaningful being thankful.

Let's take a look at being thankful before the holiday season begins.

What are ways to express thanks for the holidays?

1. Give back: One of the greatest gifts we can give is giving back. This can be helping others by donating food to a food bank, helping others who might be alone & inviting them over for dinner, or donating time at a shelter or food bank. There are many ways to give back

2. Focus on what you have vs. what is missing. Thanksgiving is a opportunity to be grateful for things such as family, good friends, having a job, good health and other things that grace our lives. Too often people look at what is missing in their lives and ignore all the blessings within their life.

3. Reach out to others. Thanksgiving is a great time to reach out to those you love, and those that are important to your life. This holiday is a perfect opportunity to express gratitude and love

4. Share gratefulness. Create a new holiday tradition by going around the table on Thanksgiving and share what you are thankful for... you might be amazed by all of the blessings that fill the conversation.

What are the benefits of gratitude and thankfulness?

1. Those who are grateful live longer. Research shows that grateful people are happier, live longer and have more friends

2. Those who express gratitude tend to be healthier. Grateful people tend to be optimists who have less stress and anxiety in their lives.

3. Grateful people attract others. People are drawn to people who are positive, who see the good in their life and in others.

4. Grateful people tend to get what they give out. When you open yourself to sharing your love and gratitude, you tend to have it come back to you in greater proportion. You'll also find out that you'll feel better about yourself in the process.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.