The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to reflect on everything we are grateful for in our lives. Research shows that gratitude has daily benefits, both psychologically and physiologically, no matter the time of year.
Dr. Lindsey Root Luna, associate professor of psychology at Hope College, is a clinical psychologist who investigates how virtues are connected to our physiology. In particular, she is interested in the how embodying gratitude, mindfulness, forgiveness, and hope impact our psychological and physiological functioning. In a recent study with Hope neuroscience students, Root Luna investigated the influence of brief gratitude, mindfulness, and hope inductions in combating worry in college students. Although the mindfulness imagery had a greater impact on physiology, like muscle tension and respiration rate, gratitude imagery produced the most positive outcomes psychologically.
Thanksgiving Day is a day for people to remember all that they’re thankful for and to celebrate that gratitude with friends and family. It’s also a day when food and feasting take center stage on tables (and in stomachs) across the country. But where did much of our food originate and what is its place in history beyond the United States? Global food history and food identity are unique topics which Dr. Lauren Janes can address at this food-centric time of year.
Janes, associate professor of history at Hope, is a food history scholar and the author of one book on the subject with another forthcoming in 2020. Her first book, Colonial Food in Interwar France: The Taste of Empire, was published in 2016 by Bloomsbury Academic. Her next text, Nourishing the World: A Global History in Three Foods and One Dish, is currently under contract for Hackett Press and in the writing stages by Janes. She often weaves lessons about how different foods affected world history into her classes at Hope and in her May Term course in Paris as well.