Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the good things in life and express our gratitude to those who matter to us. But not everyone feels the same way about this holiday. Some people may experience sadness, anxiety, or depression instead of joy and happiness. Why is that? And what can managers do to support their employees’ mental health during this challenging season?

Gratitude and Happiness: What’s the Connection?

Gratitude is a positive emotional response that we have when we receive or give something of value to someone else. It is not just a polite gesture or a social norm, but a powerful way to boost our well-being and happiness. According to neuroscience research, gratitude activates the brain regions associated with the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for feelings of reward, pleasure, and satisfaction. Gratitude also reduces the activity of the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes fear, stress, and negative emotions. By practicing gratitude, we can enhance our mood, reduce our stress, and improve our resilience.

But gratitude is not only good for ourselves, it is also good for others. When we express gratitude to someone, we strengthen our relationship with them and make them feel valued and appreciated. This creates a positive feedback loop that fosters trust, cooperation, and mutual support. Gratitude can also inspire us to be more generous and compassionate, as we recognize the kindness and generosity of others and want to reciprocate.

Gratitude and Sadness: How Can We Balance Them?

The good news is that we can use gratitude as a tool to cope with sadness and even depression, and to enhance our happiness and well-being. Here are some tips on how to practice gratitude and how to help others on your team to do the same:

Keep a gratitude journal: Write down three things that you are grateful for every day, no matter how big or small. This will help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and appreciate what you have.

Express gratitude to others: Send a thank-you note, a text message, or a phone call to someone who has helped you, supported you, or inspired you. This will make them feel good and strengthen your bond with them.

Share gratitude with your team: Start or end your meetings with a gratitude round, where each person shares something that they are grateful for, either personally or professionally. This will create a positive and supportive atmosphere and boost morale and motivation.

Practice gratitude meditation: Find a quiet and comfortable place, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Think of someone or something that you are grateful for, and feel the warmth and love in your heart. You can also repeat a gratitude mantra, such as “I am grateful for…” or “Thank you for…”.


Gratitude is not a magic bullet that can cure all our problems, but it is a powerful and effective way to improve our mental health and happiness. By being grateful, we can not only enjoy and help others enjoy the holiday season, but we can make every day a Thanksgiving.

Holiday gift guide 2023, give the gift of WHY



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2024 Economic Forecast: From GDP Gyrations to Global Unrest

For the last time this year, we rolled out the red carpet for the all-star team at Odeon Capital Conversations: The indomitable team of Dick Bove, Mat Van Alstyne, and John Aidan Byrne! From the geopolitical tug-of-war in Ukraine and Gaza, to the commercial real estate buffet nobody’s eating at, to the labor strikes and layoffs, let’s say we covered a lot of territory in just 60 minutes. This is one of our best conversations, which is saying a lot with the top-notch guests that have been visiting the Geeks Geezers and Googlization Show stage!

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Thanks for joining me again as I continue my myth-busting journey through the fascinating labyrinth of the human brain. I hope you’re enjoying my Brain Guide to Bossing series on debunking neuro-management myths enough to share this with just two connections.

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