Expressing gratitude isn’t just a good thing to do; it also appears to be good for us! Indiana University researchers found that participants who performed gratitude-focused writing exercises felt uplifted, and were more likely to express gratefulness through generosity, even weeks later.
Furthermore, brain scans revealed increased gratitude-related activity even months down the road (New York Magazine).
Though the study was small, we seem to have a “gratitude muscle” that can be strengthened through exercise. If so, there may be more than we thought to the popularity of gratitude journals and Mom’s insistence that we write thank-you notes. Not to mention the biblical call to “give thanks to the LORD, for he is good” (1 Chronicles 16:34, for example).
Might God have hardwired us for gratitude — not only at Thanksgiving but year round — because it’s good for us as well as for those we thank? To that, we respond, “Thanks be to God!”