Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to give thanks

Before devouring turkey, many families go around the table and share what they are thankful for. This provides the opportunity to reflect on the past year and the people who were there throughout it all. During this time, we may think about how grateful we are to have the encouragement of our parents or friends to help us through difficult situations.

Special sentiments, such as the joy somebody brings with their presence or when a loved one was there to lend a helping hand, immediately come to mind. Gestures that might have been taken for granted in the moment are now suddenly appreciated. We seem to be filled with an enormous amount of gratitude during this holiday, but not nearly as much in our everyday lives.

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to benefit quality of life. Dr. Robert A. Emmons, a professor of psychology at UC Davis, has conducted multiple studies on the relationship between gratitude and well-being. Through his research, Emmons has found that those who regularly practice gratitude are more stress resistant and have a higher sense of self-worth. They also experience physical benefits, including stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure.

Thanksgiving allows us to focus purely on our personal relationships. We are able to take a break from school and work obligations, leaving us time to reflect. It’s simple to say life’s fast pace makes it harder to recognize what we have, though we must not let that become an excuse.

Make it a priority to stop and think about how others have enhanced your life. Express the impact they’ve had on you and your appreciation for all that they’ve done. Practice showing gratitude three hundred and sixty-five days a year, even when things get hectic. Such acknowledgment shouldn’t be limited to a single day in November.

Every day is a wonderful day to give thanks.