Photo: Andresr/Shutterstock.

As we feast with family and friends this month, many of us will take time to appreciate what we have. Feeling grateful is good for the spirit, and according to academic research, it's also good for our bottom line. "Gratitude makes us value the future more," says David DeSteno, PhD, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University. "It overcomes our mind's bias toward immediate gratification. And the more we value future rewards, such as retirement or college savings, the easier it is to resist making impulse purchases." Gratitude may also make us less materialistic—an attitude linked to insecurity, anxiety, and depression. But of course, amid life's challenges and distractions, it's easy to lose touch with all that's going well for us. To help you regain focus, consider these simple strategies. Your wallet might thank you.

1. Redefine Wealth

While your bank account may have you believing you'll never be "rich," numbers aren't the only way to measure well-being. Our health, friendships, ambition, and even access to technology are all invaluable assets that support a bountiful life. Says author and economist Julie Ann Cairns, "I don't talk about wealth—I prefer to use the word abundance. That, to me, is so much bigger than money. It's a way of being in the world that says 'I am not afraid, and it's okay for me to be generous.'" And try not to get hung up on the R word: Instead, think of your life as prosperous or fulfilled.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Gratitude could lead to fewer of the impulse buys that take a bite out of our bank accounts. In a 2016 poll, 54 percent of Americans said they've spent $100 or more on a whim; another 20 percent said they've spent at least $1,000 impulsively.
thank you card

Photo: Stuart Tyson/Studio D.

2. Take Time for Thanks

DeSteno found that those who practiced gratitude frequently (say, three or four times a week) "showed the best ability to be financially patient." Make a habit of jotting down a few notes in a gratitude journal and expressing appreciation to your friends and family regularly.

Money Mentality
About half of Americans equate being rich to having an annual household income of over $200,000, according to a 2014 survey.
giving back

3. Give Back, Get More

You feel thankful when you help someone else. Life and business strategist Tony Robbins once told me, "Giving teaches your brain there's more than enough." Assisting the less fortunate can be a profound way to remind yourself of your true wealth.

Generous Helpings
Money can buy happiness—if you spend it on someone else. A small 2008 study found that giving even $5 can lead to an uptick in your emotional well-being.
unfriend keyboard

Photo: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Make Your Feed More Friendly

As entertaining as social media can be, it may also breed discontent. As author Ellen Rogin says, "It's easy to see what others are doing and desire what they have." Cairns advises unfollowing friends whose posts always leave you doubting your worth. And remember that many of the images we're ogling, with their flattering filters and artful cropping, don't depict the truth of people's lives.

Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance expert and author of When She Makes More, hosts CNBC's Follow the Leader and the podcast So Money.