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THANKSGIVING America shows its gratitude

If you’re on Facebook — and the majority of us are — you’ve undoubtedly seen at least a few of your friends posting what they’re thankful for.

The 30-day thankfulness challenge isn’t anything new. Facebook has just put a 21st century spin on a longstanding tradition for many families.

We should all be thankful for the blessings, big and small, that have been bestowed on us this year. We shouldn’t take our blessings for granted, even if those blessings can feel like a curse sometimes. As it turns out, researchers have found that having gratitude throughout the year can have surprising effects on our lives.

According to the Harvard Medical School, two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami have researched gratitude. In one study they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. That simple act, for 10 weeks, led those who wrote about gratitude to be more optimistic and feel better about their lives, exercise more and have fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

So let’s be thankful today as we gather with family and friends. More importantly, let’s remain thankful as the daily stresses of life resume tomorrow.

Let us try to do good things for others and appreciate the region and nation in which we live.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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