Westchester November 2018

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Examining the Value of Gratitude TO GIVE THANKS

In 2006, I had Thanksgiving dinner at a pub in Manhattan. This wasn’t where I planned on being for Thanksgiving, but just the day before, my twin daughters had been born at Mount Sinai Hospital. I remember sitting there and thinking about how much I had to be thankful for. My girls and my wife were all healthy, and I was about to start a new stage of fatherhood. It was a little overwhelming, but in that moment, I couldn’t have been happier.


I don’t usually spend Thanksgiving Day at a pub. I prefer to spend the day at home with my family, eating too much and relaxing with the people I love. Recently, my sons and I started playing a game of touch football on Thanksgiving with a bunch of friends

writing thank-you letters or maybe by keeping a gratitude journal, have been shown to be more resistant to stress. Grateful people are also able to recover from stressful situations more quickly, and they tend to have a higher sense of self-worth. Why is gratitude so beneficial? It’s hard to say. Maybe it’s because when we take the time to acknowledge what we have, it’s easier to hold on to those good thoughts when life doesn’t seem so great. For me, gratitude is about taking a minute to reflect and appreciate the things I am fortunate enough to have that other people may be missing in their lives. I am fortunate to be following my dream of running my own practice, to know my family is happy and healthy, and to be surrounded by people whom I love. Remembering these blessings and being thankful not just on Thanksgiving, but every day, certainly helps me feel more optimistic when times are tough. I hope you all are able to enjoy a relaxing holiday, sharing great food with the people you love, and that you have many things to be grateful for, too.

and their sons. It’s a lot of fun and a really good way of earning all those side dishes covered in cranberry sauce. It’s during the times when I get to be with my family that I really see all I have to be thankful for in life. Have you ever thought about what a great holiday Thanksgiving is? Here is a day that is about being grateful. Sure, the food is great, and I love football, but it’s pretty uplifting to think about howwe have this one day when the whole nation agrees to pause and remember the good things. This is remarkable because gratitude can be a powerful thing. Research published in the journal Psychological Science found that when people wrote thank-you letters, it didn’t just make the person receiving the letter feel good. Writing these letters actually improved the well-being of the people who were expressing gratitude. There is a whole field of psychology, called positive psychology, that looks at how happiness and gratitude impact us physically and mentally. People who regularly practice gratitude, be it through

Happy Thanksgiving!

–Dr. Harrison Linsky


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