You probably know that Thanksgiving is great; you probably don’t know that it may actually make you healthier.
That's surprisng, considering you might already be on your second piece of pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. I love the football, the food, the four-day weekend, and the non-dogmatic spirit of celebration. But more than anything, I love Thanksgiving because of the warm feelings I experience reflecting on all that I am grateful for in the company of friends and family.
Could the warmth that I enjoy be more than just a feeling (or the after-dinner whisky)? Years of science help answer this question, and suggest that the act of gratitude makes us healthier by subconsciously promoting healthy behaviors, like exercise and sleep, and changing our biochemistry and physiology for the better. Here’s how it works. (Note: the research profiled below uses clever methods to overcome an issue called “reverse causality,” or the fact that already healthy people are probably happier than not-so-healthy people to begin with).