Gratitude really DOES change the brain

I’m taking a break from my values and relationship posts to address gratitude since Thanksgiving is almost here.

I think gratitude gets a bad rap. We hear all the time that we should be grateful and practice gratitude, but I think sometimes we dismiss it as something that we SHOULD do, but something that really won’t affect us very much.

Well, that’s wrong. The reason why we’re hearing more about gratitude lately is because there is a lot more research coming out about how gratitude impacts the brain. Gratitude can actually stimulate the release of feel good neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Serotonin. There have been many studies done over the past decade that showcase how a gratitude practice can have lasting affects on the brain, and in turn our well being.

So, what better time than the week of Thanksgiving to start a gratitude practice? A gratitude practice does take intention. It’s important to intentionally set aside time to practice gratitude every day in order to reap the benefits.

How do you practice gratitude?

!. Start a gratitude journal - Write down 5 things/people/experiences that you are grateful for each morning

2. Write a letter of gratitude to someone

3. Meditate or pray on what or whom you are grateful for

4. Notice 5 things in the room you are in right now that you are grateful for

5. Go for a walk outside and think gratefully about trees/plants/insects/wildlife etc. and the role they each play

These are just some examples of ways you can practice gratitude. Set aside 5-10 minutes each morning to intentionally practice gratitude.

Stay well and healthy and reach out anytime!