Health & Happiness: Giving Thanks

By Camille Keith

In November, the US observes Thanksgiving. For many people this means a long weekend, and having dinner with family and friends. Remember that this holiday is also about giving thanks. Practicing gratitude has been shown to help increase life satisfaction. It’s important to acknowledge the good things in our lives, instead of just focusing on the negatives.

While you may want to take time to share what you are thankful for during your Thanksgiving celebration, you may also want to make this a regular topic during family meals. Share with your loved ones why you are grateful for them or remember shared experienced that you enjoyed. Expressing gratitude is often more meaningful when done in a group.

You could also try keeping a gratitude journal. Your journal entries don’t have to be long, but be specific about what you’re grateful for. For example, instead of writing you are grateful for your family, you might say you are grateful that your mom made you soup when you were sick.

Take a few moments every day to think about what you’re grateful for.

For caregivers and healers, it can be especially important to remind ourselves why we are taking on a helping role. There are often times when this work is challenging, so take time to reflect on what you appreciate. If you are having difficulty thinking about what you are grateful for, you may be feeling burned out. As a counselor I can provide a new perspective to help you explore current challenges and create more opportunities for gratitude.

Camille Keith, MS, NCC is an LPC Intern under the supervision of Tara Sanderson PsyD, and provides individual counseling to help you clarify your values and maintain your sense of self in relationships. For more information, call (971) 295-1547 or visit