Neurologist Explains Why Giving Thanks Is Good for Your Brain and Your Health

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The Bible is full of verses that highlight the importance of giving thanks every day, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

Psalm 92:1 says, "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises unto Your name, O Most High."

And now health experts are saying the same thing, that being grateful is good for our overall well-being.

In his book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, neurologist David Perlmutter incorporates the practice of giving thanks into his program to strengthen the brain.
    
In an interview on CBN News' Prayerlink show, he said having an attitude of gratitude can actually help our health.

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"It's gratitude in terms of deed," he explained.

He said, "The expression of gratitude goes well beyond our thoughts. It extends to our actions day to day."

"We know that when we participate in actions that are surrounding gratitude, giving back, which is certainly our noble obligation—noblesse oblige—that there are chemical changes in the body and in the brain that are good for us," Dr. Perlmutter commented."

He went on to say, "We have reduction in various stress chemicals that are damaging, things like cortisol and we actually foster growth of certain areas of the brain that enhance the way the brain perceives the world to be a good place and a positive experience."

"The less we participate in seeing the world positively, the more the brain actually changes and sees the world through negative eyes, if you will. So it's the day-to-day practice of prayer and the expression of gratitude for all of the love that surrounds each and every one of us that ultimately has some very self-serving positivity. It's good for our brain and it's good for your health," he said.

Dr. Perlutter stressed that being grateful also has a positive impact on relationships, saying, "There's huge, pervasive sense of lack of connection that seems to be almost global at this point, that people are feeling isolated."

"As we express gratitude, we change the way we see the world. The world looks less threatening. And we are more likely to engage and kindle these relationships with other people and feel that other people be blessed and celebrated as opposed to having negative feelings towards others," he said.

Copyright The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., All rights reserved.

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