In the early 1990’s, approximately 700 American nuns agreed to allow researchers access to their autobiographies as part of a research program on aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The published results were astounding. The more positive emotions the nuns expressed in their autobiographical notes -contentment, gratitude, happiness, love and hope – the more likely they were to be alive and well sixty years later.
Since the publication of the “Nun Study” and the resulting research it inspired, we now understand the multiple effects of developing an attitude of gratitude and appreciation. It can help improve physical health, develop immunity to disease, and even reduces toxic emotions like depression and stress.
The month of November has been one of thanksgiving. On Veteran’s day, we thanked the members of our Armed Forces for their dedication. During the Jogathon, we heard messages of inspiration and gratitude from Tara and Hema from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). And on Thanksgiving we spent time with our friends and families, while we loosened our pant belts a little bit more for the extra stuffing and apple pie!
As we look forward to Chanukah, we hope to continue this feeling of gratitude and happiness through the lighting of the menorah. We hope you will join us on December 12 for our “light up the night” Chanukah event. (Be on the lookout for more information) We will gather at each other’s homes to light candles, eat some latkes and sufganiyot, play dreidel. But most importantly, we will take time to express our gratitude and appreciate the amazing community in which we live.