Gratitude changes your brain and makes you a happier person.
According to the UCLA Center for Integrative Care Consciousness Research, practicing gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain. Furthermore, grateful people tend to be more empathetic and peaceful, as well as report better health and being happier.
Emmons, professor at the University of California and founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, who collaborated with Mack. Kullo, professor of psychology at the University of Miami, did some interesting research on the benefits of gratitude. The research consisted of three groups who had to record daily: one group wrote down what they were grateful for, another what made them angry, and the third a neutral aspect. After just 10 weeks, people in the gratitude group reported better health, greater empathy, and higher performance.
Seligman, a reference in positive psychology, emphasizes the development of gratitude as a psychological force that is related to the meaning of life and transcendence.
Studies show that being mindfully grateful produces positive physiological changes in the body, strengthening the immune system: It improves blood circulation, breathing quality, oxygen, and heart rate. On a cognitive level, being grateful directs our attention to what there is to be grateful for on a day-to-day basis, strengthens a positive outlook and evaluation of life, and increases feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and empathy.
More benefits of practicing gratitude:
● Lowers blood pressure
● Helps fight addictions
● Promotes healthy sleep
● Increases optimism
● Generates greater resilience in difficult situations
● Reduces anxiety, depression and stress
● Promotes self-control
● Reduces jealousy and envy
● Improves cognitive functions and performance
Increases life satisfaction and hope
● Improves quality of life
● Increase Happiness
Being grateful is an attitude that will affect your past, present and future. You will be able to let go of the past in a new way and live experiences in a different way, even if they are negative for you – allowing you to learn new things – as well as reinforcing your positive memories. In the present, this will allow you to assess what you are experiencing at each moment, and in the future it will help you to forecast and plan with more optimism.
Gratitude will allow you to have positive emotions and strengthen your personality, in addition to positively changing your brain functionally and structurally. As Einstein said: “There are only two ways to live life: one is thinking that nothing is a miracle and the other is believing that everything is.”
Understanding life as a gift, and each day of life as such, inevitably leads us to be grateful. That’s what David Steindl-Rast says in his TED Talks, where he relates happiness and gratitude in a very simple and shareable way. He affirms that we all have the same desire to be happy. He says that one does not become grateful because of happiness, but on the contrary, being grateful makes one happy. If life is a gift and every moment is an opportunity and a chance to learn, then we should be grateful for it. Being grateful for the present moment, what you are experiencing even during difficult times, will allow you to learn and strengthen yourself. Being grateful is a characteristic of happy people. When we teach children to cross the road, he proposes a strategy and draws an analogy. It’s about stop-watch-walk.
You will feel that thanksgiving has meaning at the level of thought, feeling and action. It’s something I’ve tried on myself and with my patients and trainers, it really transforms outlook and the benefits are clear. It’s a powerful exercise whose results are so impressive they seem magical.
Practicing gratitude daily is easier than it sounds. It involves decision and will, as well as doing things that, after repeating them for a few weeks, will allow you to establish a habit of giving thanks and reap its benefits.
Four Advice To activate Gratitude:
● When you wake up, be grateful for a new day and spend a few minutes designing it. What do you want and what will you do to make it happen? Remember not to focus on what you don’t want to do but do the opposite.
● See your daily gifts all around you and be grateful for them. Even in nature we see beauty, abundance and much to be grateful for.
● Focus on the glass half full. You may have a natural tendency to see one half or the other. Reinforce the positive, which I assure you is not naïve, but a habit of thought that you will be able to establish after a few weeks. This will promote the release of healthy living hormones and thus you will change your brain.
● Finally and most importantly, thank you at night for the three best things that happened to you during your day. He immediately falls asleep. So you will do your sleep and rest a favor, as well as enhance your health.