(CNN)As a physician, I have helped to care for many patients and families whose lives have been turned upside down by serious illnesses and injuries.
Why being thankful is so good for your health
In the throes of such catastrophes, it can be difficult to find cause for anything but lament.
Yet Thanksgiving presents us with an opportunity to develop one of the healthiest, most life-affirming and convivial of all habits -- that of counting and rejoicing in our blessings.
Research shows that grateful people tend to be healthy and happy. They exhibit lower levels of stress and depression, cope better with adversity and sleep better. They tend to be happier and more satisfied with life. Even their partners tend to be more content with their relationships.
Perhaps when we are more focused on the good things we enjoy in life, we have more to live for and tend to take better care of ourselves and each other.