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Thank You, Positive Thinking!

A little bit of gratitude goes a long way toward helping people live more positive lives.

Jon Gordon

The more I learn about gratitude, the more I think Thanksgiving should be more than one day in November. It should be part of every day. Why? Studies show grateful people are healthier and more likely to maintain friendships, and that it’s physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. Here are five surefire ways to get the mind-body-soul benefits of gratitude daily.

Take a 10-minute walk and list out loud the things you’re thankful for. Your spouse, your kids, your friends, your garden, your job (even if it sometimes drives you nuts)… This gives your attitude and energy a boost.

Go around the table at dinner and say what you’re grateful for. It can be something that happened or someone you encountered that day, or something about your life in general.

Write a letter expressing your gratitude to someone. Then visit (or call) the person and read her the letter. Research by positive psychologist Martin Seligman found that people who do this are measurably happier even one month after the visit.

My 89-year-old grandfather always sounds so upbeat. One day I asked him what his secret was. Turns out only 5 percent of the time does he say, ‘Give me a break, God.’ The other 95 percent of the time his prayers consist of two simple words, ‘Thank you.’

It’s easy to overlook the little things people do every day. Thank them on a daily basis. Thank your partner. Your children. Your co-workers and employees. Your boss. The security guard in your building. The grocery store checkout clerk. Be specific about what each person does that you’re grateful for.

There, don’t you feel too blessed to be stressed?

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