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Embrace Radical Gratitude: Savoring Thanksgiving All Year Long

Radical gratitude is intentionally finding something to be thankful for in every situation. I remember the exact moment I developed radical gratitude. It was June 2020, after a long day working on the COVID-19 frontlines as lead internal medicine physician at a busy subacute rehabilitation facility in Prince George's County. I was extra tired from having to wear an N95 mask all day while caring for nervous patients and stressed staff trying to stay COVID-19-free. When I got home and sanitized, I tried to make dinner, but my 18-month-old daughter was upset because she missed me and wanted my attention. I explained that making a delicious meal for her was just as good as picking her up, but toddlers can be so unreasonable 😝.

Instead of accepting my logic, she started crying as loudly as possible. As she wailed, I felt the stress of the entire day wash over me, and I was tempted to join her crying. Instead, perhaps because I'd spent part of the day working on the vent unit as her high-pitched cries reached new octaves, I started thinking, "Thank God her lungs work well enough to cry so loudly." The combination of the wonderfulness and the bizarreness of having that thought made me burst out laughing. My boisterous laugh immediately stopped my toddler from crying. She looked at me puzzled and then joined me laughing.

From that day on, I always decided to find something to be grateful for in every situation (1 Thess 5:18). Sure, as a human, I still have moments when I don't feel thankful. Still, through years of practice, I'm better at shifting a negative attitude back to gratitude. This practice of embracing living in thanksgiving has improved every aspect of my body, mind, and spirit.

I encourage you to embrace radical gratitude, too.

Here's what Body-Mind-Spirit Radical Gratitude looks like:


Imagine you've been working out consistently for a month but haven't seen the changes you want in the mirror. Your metabolism has slowed due to maturity (aka "aging" 😝), hormonal shifts, and more. It's tempting to get discouraged and stop working out because "it's not working." But radical gratitude says,

  • "I'm grateful that my body is wonderfully complex. It's amazing in ways I don't even understand."

  • "I'm grateful I'm working towards my goals."

  • "I'm grateful there's new science to help me get solutions I need to achieve my weight & wellness goals."

  • "I'm grateful to access to help to find new solutions."


There's a saying that our minds are our greatest battlefield. Whether we win or lose starts and ends with how we handle the inevitable negative thoughts that arise when we decide to do anything positive.

So, as you embrace radical gratitude, there are two things you have to remember.

  1. Gratitude is a choice. You don't "have to be thankful." You are choosing to be thankful. When you're stressed or in challenging situations, you may not feel like being grateful, and that's okay. We're human and allowed to have emotions. For example, One of the most challenging times to choose gratitude for me was early in my grief journey after the loss of my Dad. I learned to make space for the complex emotions grief evokes while still choosing radical gratitude. I miss my Dad immensely, but I can still say, "I'm grateful for every lesson my Dad taught me." "I'm grateful my Dad modeled what it looked like to choose an attitude of gratitude."

  2. Optimize your mental health and well-being. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and others make it harder to "choose gratitude." If you are struggling to find something to be grateful for, this could be a symptom of a mental health condition. Let's normalize seeking help for mental health. There's no shame in reaching out for help. Trained mental health professionals equip you with tools to help improve your mental health.


Gratitude is vital to spiritual well-being and a universal principle. One of my favorite Bible verses is 1st Thessalonians 5:18, which reminds us to "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Contrary to what toxic religion may suggest, this is not a call to pretentious positivity but to follow Christ's example of choosing joy, love, and thankfulness, even in adversity. Radical gratitude nourishes your spirit, especially when connected with gratitude to God.

More than Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is when gratitude grandly takes center stage in the US and abroad. Many people associate the fondness of Thanksgiving Food with the abundance of delicious comfort foods and connection with family and friends that lead to full bellies and content hearts. But the focus on gratitude is what drives the warmth of Thanksgiving Day. Thankfully, you don't have to wait till Thanksgiving day or gorge on decedent food to experience the warmth of gratitude. My prayer is that you will embrace celebrating radical gratitude every day.

So, what are you grateful for in this moment?

Let's end with 3 practical actions you can take to cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude:

1. Embrace Daily Gratitude Journaling

Start a daily gratitude journal where you jot down three things you're thankful for daily. These can be simple moments, achievements, or even challenges that taught you valuable lessons. Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life can shift your focus toward gratitude.

2. Embrace Mindful Moments of Gratitude

Incorporate mindful moments of gratitude into your daily routine. For example, during your morning routine, take a moment to express gratitude for the new day and the opportunities it brings. While moving, express gratitude that your body can move and the gift of movement. These small, intentional pauses can infuse gratitude into your daily activities.

3. Express Gratitude to Yourself & Others:

Actively express your gratitude to the people around you in various forms. For example, this could be through a handwritten note, a text message, or a verbal acknowledgment. Be specific about what you appreciate: their support, kindness, or a particular action. But also remember to show gratitude to yourself also. Sharing your gratitude uplifts others and reinforces a positive and thankful mindset within yourself.

Remember, cultivating radical gratitude is about making it a consistent part of your mindset and lifestyle. These practical tips can serve as a starting point. You can customize them to fit your preferences and circumstances.

Remember in whatever you do, always Embrace You!

Dr. Sylvia


For more transformative mindset shifts on your weight and wellness journey delve into the empowering pages of 'Embrace You: Your Guide to Transforming Weight Loss Misconceptions Into Lifelong Wellness.' Click here to embark on a personalized path crafted just for you. It's time to embrace the change, embrace yourself, and kickstart your wellness journey. Your transformation begins now!

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