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Thanksgiving Gratitude
by Jackie Silver, Author of AgingBackwards

Thanksgiving is a time to slow down, bond with family and friends, eat and talk turkey, and to give thanks, of course. It's a day where diets go out the window and, usually, so does exercise. Here are a few exercises of a different type – gratitude exercises. We all celebrate and give thanks in our own way, but perhaps these suggestions will help add a little extra "thanks" to your Thanksgiving.

Aging Backwards Gratitude Exercises:
*1) Focus on the positive.  Happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy daily. According to psychological research, positive emotions are associated with greater creativity, increased problem-solving ability and greater overall success in life. Why not make a conscious decision to have a great day when you wake up in the morning? See what can happen...*

2) Give back.  Studies show that people who volunteer on a regular basis are the healthiest and live the longest. There are sure to be organizations in your area that need volunteers to help serve Thanksgiving dinner. Don't know where to start? Check out VolunteerMatch to find a worthy cause in your local area. All you do is type in your zip code and VolunteerMatch will find organizations near you that would love your help.

3) Meet The Gratidudes. These fantastic young men are spreading the word worldwide that an attitude of gratitude is cool! You won't want to miss their Gratidude Dance!

4) Start a gratitude journal. Writing down all the reasons you have to feel grateful every day or even just once a week can really lift your spirits. Seeing it all in one place always reminds me of how fortunate I am. It's also handy on days when you might be feeling blue, especially in the winter. Any time you need a little pick-me-up, you can get cozy on the couch, pick up your gratitude journal and be reminded of all the positives in your life.

5) Tell someone how you feel.  We're so busy being productive individuals, which is a good thing, but sometimes we can take for granted those closest to us. Thanksgiving is a time to express your appreciation for your loved ones and all the joy that they bring into your life. If you don't feel comfortable telling someone face-to-face, why not buy or make a nice card or write a letter? In this digital age, most people don't receive many cards and hand-written letters, so one from you would most likely be well-received.

So, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Make it a great day.

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