As you clean up from the Thanksgiving celebration and feast once again on yummy leftovers, take a moment to reflect on the importance of this less commercial holiday we just celebrated. Thanksgiving is a once of year reminder of the goodness of God. We pause and intentionally attend to the blessings we have in our lives.

But did you know that giving thanks is not only commanded in Scripture, but also improves your mood?

The simple act of a daily gratitude practice can change your day. Try this: Each day, write down three things for which you are grateful and notice the change in your mood. This exercise can lift depression. You can also tell people what you are grateful for and talking about it with someone will have the same impact on your mood.

Gratitude is a characteristic of people whose lives are filled with inner peace and contentment. According to neuroscientist, Rick Hansen, gratitude helps people feel brighter and more alert. He believes that gratitude helps the brain increase dopamine – involved in the planning and experience of rewards.

This Thanksgiving season, begin a new habit. Each day, rehearse your blessings. Focus on what you have versus what you do not have, and see how different your day turns out. Gratitude will make a difference.

Then, meditate on these scriptures. Notice how the versus engage the will to take action —I will rejoice, give thanks, be grateful, be thankful:

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Colossians 3:15 

Giving thanks can improve your mood