In just a few short days, we’ll be celebrating one of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving.

I always look forward to cooking a few healthy dishes, spending quality time with family, and yes – eating lots of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Even more than that, I love what this holiday represents: GRATITUDE.

Gratitude is the feeling of deep appreciation for what you have in your life, and it’s the one thing that studies show can quickly transform your entire outlook and make you 25% healthier and happier.

It’s so powerful that just a few minutes of genuine gratitude can immediately boost your immunity to anger, disappointment, sadness, stress and frustration.

Focusing on your blessings – big or small – automatically puts you in a good mood and changes how you think, feel and act, by signaling feelings of happiness, contentment and joy.

And here’s the best part…whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to give thanks.

Earlier this year, I began keeping a morning gratitude journal and I’ve been so impressed with how this simple daily ritual has improved my overall state of mind that I just had to share it with you.

Gratitude Journal VM

I realized it’s impossible to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” if you wake up feeling grateful!

So if you’re looking for a no-frills, yet highly effective, way to take your gratitude practice – along with your mental and emotional well being – to the next level, give this a try.

1// As soon as you wake up, give thanks for the first thing that pops into your head.

If it’s work, give thanks that you have a job. If it’s “I don’t want to get up!” give thanks that you have a warm, cozy bed to sleep in every night. No filter, just think about it for a second and show some appreciation.

2// Next grab a notebook or journal and write down three to five things that you were grateful for yesterday.

It may be the way your dog greeted you at the front door or that nice person that let you have the parking space in the crowded lot. It could be that great workout session you had or a funny conversation with a friend.

Once you’ve written a few things, notice how you feel.

Then keep these things in mind as you go about your day and remind yourself that whatever you focus on expands. When you focus on gratitude and positivity, you’ll get more of that in return.

Because here’s the thing… 

What you appreciate, appreciates. 

Okay, now it’s your turn to give this new gratitude strategy a test drive. If you try it, I’d love to hear all about your experience in the comments below.

And on the topic of gratitude, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate YOU. Thank you for being here, inviting me into your inbox and for allowing me to be a part of your world.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and a beautiful week!

With so much love and appreciation,