Thanksgiving Day will be here in a week.   It’s an American holiday tradition filled with family and friend gatherings, turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, and football.   It’s also an annual reminder for all of us to take inventory and to express gratitude for all of life’s blessings and goodwill.
 
In the book,
Making a Good Brain Great, Dr. Daniel Amen shares that, “One of the most interesting [brain] scans that I have done through the years were those of a psychologist, Noelle Nelson, who was at the time writing a book titled The Power of Appreciation.  She wanted to be scanned after spending a half-hour meditating on all the things she was thankful for in her life.  In that scan her brain looked healthy.    I then asked her to do one more scan after thinking about all the things she hated in her life.  I felt that we needed a comparison scan to see the difference that an attitude of gratitude can make in the brain . . . .Her second scan was very different from the healthy gratitude scan:  both her cerebellum and her left temporal lobe were deactivated.   Decreased cerebellar activity is associated with decreased motor coordination and thought coordination.  People get clumsier and less able to think their way out of problems . . . . Negative thought patterns change the brain in a negative way.  Being grateful for the wonderful things in your life literally helps you . . .  (Dr. Daniel G. Amen, Making a Good Brain Great, p. 151)


Research confirms that when people feel appreciated, good things happen to their minds, hearts, and bodies.   During this season of Thanksgiving, take the initiative with your family, friends, and coworkers, and express to them your gratitude for who they are and what they do.  And then, make this a regular practice.  Don’t wait until next Thanksgiving to tell somebody, “thank you.”