Thursday, November 24, 2016

Brain, Gratitude, and Quality Time

It is Thanksgiving Day in the USA—a time to celebrate the quality of being grateful. And to practice it! Neurobiologically, gratitude is right up there with awe and wonder and the benefits are myriad. Doctors have pointed out that when you pause to appreciate and show caring and compassion, the more order and coherence you experience internally. When your heart is in an ‘internal coherence state,’ studies suggest that you enjoy the capacity to be peaceful and calm yet retain the ability to respond appropriately to stressful circumstances. I choose to practice gratitude on a daily basis. So what makes Thanksgiving Day more unique than any other day? On this day I pause to be specifically grateful for those individuals who love me enough to give me quality time throughout the year by phone, text, email, snailmail—and sometimes in person (how deliciously rewarding). I refer to them as my ‘family-of-choice’ because a gift of time is a personal choice. It is the only thing your brain can give another brain that no one else can. So for their quality time I am truly grateful. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, my wish for you today is that you both give and receive the gift of ‘quality time.’

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