Giving thanks is about more than being polite – and it can transform your outlook, mood, and even your health

Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only time of year where we take stock of the blessings in our lives and give thanks. It’s a practice, that when done regularly, if not daily, has the power to make us happier and healthier. In fact, a recent study by a psychologist at the University of California, concluded that when subjects wrote down just one thing they were grateful for each day for just three weeks, they were 25% happier for a full six months. These same subjects noted an ever increasing sense of vitality.

It’s easy to practice gratitude and today’s an ideal day to get started. Jot down something you’re grateful for and make it a daily habit. You can also try any number of these simple ways to give thanks:

1. Send a thank you card to someone who’s made a difference in your life.
2. Volunteer in your community.
3. Donate to a cause or company for their efforts to create a positive impact you support.
4. Start a gratitude journal and write in it regularly, noting the blessings in your life and giving thanks to the people who have gone above and beyond on your behalf.
5. Give genuine compliments.
6. Talk about what you are grateful for with your family.
7. Celebrate – yes, even the small blessings!
8. Be present.
9. Meditate
10. Give a gift.
11. Say thank you.
12. Pay it forward by sharing kindness you’ve received with someone else.
13. Pick up the bill when you’re out with people you care about.
14. Text someone a note of appreciation.
15. Celebrate the success of others as you do your own.

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