Thanksgiving is a beautiful thing. It’s good for the body, heart, mind, and soul. It’s beneficial to the person who is grateful and to the one who is appreciated. We know that in recent years scientific research has shown the benefits of thanksgiving. For example, grateful people enjoy life more and are healthier. But even before this research, we knew for thousands of years that a grateful heart brings tremendous physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual benefits.thanksgiving

Yet, not all thanksgiving is created equal. I believe great thanksgiving yields great mutual benefits.

How do you get to great thanksgiving?

Great thanksgiving has an equally beautiful prequel. It is called praise.

Praise is a joyful recounting of the good things someone has done for us. When you praise, you open the book in your brain where you’ve stored the good things people have done for you. You start happily reading and telling the other person how they have been a blessing to you. The more you read, the happier you get, and it’s visible on your face until you burst into thanksgiving. True praise is emotional, so be ready in case you shed a tear of joy.

Praise is not self-centered or manipulative. You don’t praise someone to get something from them. Instead, praise is a truthful acknowledgment of the righteous acts of another person whether it is your mother, father, sibling, child, friend, boss, etc.

We can praise anyone in the world who has positively impacted us by cheerfully and happily talking about their deeds.

As the drumbeats of praise continue to play from your mouth and the cadence progressively rises, a strong and powerful emotion rises from within the soul and overwhelms us with a rapturous proclamation of thanksgiving that is pure and true, unadulterated.

This year, before you give thanks, start first with praise and let your heart lead you to genuinely give thanks. Then ease into thanksgiving.

This year, may we be the most grateful people we’ve ever been!