5 Reasons to Practice Gratitude Every Day!
Practicing gratitude is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase positive thoughts, promote positive emotions, improve relationships and enhance the functioning of your brain and body. And the amazing thing is, it works even if you have to fake it ‘til you make it.
“Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.”
Dr Alex Korb
1. Gratitude Improves The Way You Think
Gratitude helps to counteract the negativity bias that all humans possess by intentionally focusing our attention on the good stuff. Once you start noticing things to be grateful for, the mind starts to look for more things to be grateful for. This is known as ‘the virtuous cycle’. Gratitude also leads to increased mental clarity.
2. Gratitude Promotes Positive Emotions
People who practice gratitude report feeling more optimistic, peaceful and joyful and also experience greater life satisfaction and self esteem. Being grateful also reduces feelings of anxiety and stress as well as envy, resentment and regret. Gratitude strengthens resilience to stressful events and trauma and shortens recovery time.
3. Practicing Gratitude Improves Relationships
People who practice gratitude perceive other people as being more understanding, caring and responsive and report greater satisfaction in their relationships.
4. Being Grateful Enhances Your Brain Function.
Practicing gratitude increases activity in the hypothalamus, the center for regulation of bodily functions such as eating, drinking, sleeping, metabolism and stress hormones. Being grateful also increases dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin levels in the brain. Dopamine is the feel good hormone associated with reward and motivation. Serotonin is essential for wellbeing and happiness. Oxytocin promotes social bonding and positive relationships. Practicing gratitude can also reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels by up to 23%.
5. Gratitude Is Good For Your Body.
People who practice gratitude tend to engage in more exercise and have better dietary behaviours than those that don’t. They are less likely to smoke or abuse alcohol or other addictive substances. There is also evidence that practicing gratitude lowers blood pressure, the experience of physical pain, cardiac inflammation and heart disease and increases immunity, kidney function, the quality and length of sleep and leads to increased energy levels.
I have included the free Gratitude lesson from my Self Mastery teacher, Gary Van Warmerdam below. This is a great meditation to listen to daily. I also have a gratitude journal next to my bed and I jot down three things everyday that I’m grateful for. Keep it simple! Maybe you had a nice meal, or a hot shower or you enjoyed sitting with you dog. The main thing is to get started and be consistent. Before too long three things won’t seam like enough.
With love and peace
*provided with the approval of Gary Van Warmerdam at Self Mastery Community.