Being thankful is such a big part of being a contented person and living a meaningful life. There are always people who have more and less than we do, but there is joy in appreciating the people and blessings in our life. People who are grateful are less depressed and less anxious. 

How do we stay in a grateful place?

Don't compare yourself to others. What they have or accomplish is really irrelevant to you.

Find ways to be of service to others, whether it's through opportunities at work, in your family, your neighborhood, the community, or the world. I know a wonderful elderly man I met at my grandmother's assisted living facility who, although he's nearly 90, widowed, and has serious health issues, makes the focus of his day helping other seniors more frail than he is. Wally picks up groceries or medications for them and helps the other residents order their meals in the dining room. He is a reminder to me that there is always someone in need of our love, kindness, and support.

Express your appreciation. Be in the positive flow by lettingpeople who make a difference in your life know that they do.

Let the losses and disappointments you have been through let you be sensitive to the losses of others, and allow you to offer support. It feels wonderful to transcend your own pain to be softened and reach out to others who need your kindness and understanding.

Develop your spiritual side. Having a spiritual life helps us reframe our life experiences, find meaning, peace, and stay focused on what's really important in our lifetime.

Wise people realize that life has, as Rick Warren, pastor and writer of The Purpose Driven Life notes, two sides of a railroad track that are always present. One side of the track has highs, and the other has lows. Everybody always has to experience both. No situation is ever perfect or without some hope. Having this perspective keeps you grounded.

Perhaps this Thanksgiving week, it's a good opportunity to verbally express or put in writing your appreciation of the people who are loving, giving, and supportive in your life.

On Thanksgiving, it's a good time to put other distractions away and focus on family and friends. Take a stand on not making Thanksgiving day or night just another day to shop, despite the fact that more stores are staying open for the holiday.

As spiritual writer Marianne Williamson notes,"Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." If you really want to feel rich this Thanksgiving, stop to count all of the gifts you have which you cannot buy.

Have a happy and grateful Thanksgiving!