6 Reasons Why Gratitude Is Good for Your Brain
The whole concept of gratitude picked the interest of spiritual teachers and philosophers several centuries ago.
From Cicero to Buddha and Adam Smith, gratitude was considered by all to be essential to the mental health of every human being.
The ancient philosophers were right because recent studies have shown that gratitude is beneficial to our health and society as a whole. Research has shown that people who were grateful for something had stronger bonds with those around them.
Below you will find 6 benefits that gratitude has for our brain, according to science:
It makes him work better
Using special magnetic waves, neurologists have found that the parts of the mind associated with socialization and pleasure work best when one is grateful. Gratitude increases their level of functioning, which is why it plays such an important role in relationships.
“When we are truly grateful for something, we look for ways to express it, such as love and affection,” says Cynthia Catchings, a therapist. “We have to remember the law of attraction. “When we feel grateful for something that has come into our lives, the universe sends us other things for which we will be grateful in the future.”
People who feel grateful are more generous
Neurologists have found that grateful people have the better function in the part of their brain that is responsible for learning and making decisions. These studies suggest that the more grateful a person is, the more generous he will become.
This may explain the study by psychologist Paul Piff and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, according to which the most generous people are not necessarily the richest.
What you can try: Find a charity event where you can participate for money or an organization to volunteer for. You can even give a smile to a stranger.
Gratitude comes from within us
Neurologists have discovered that feeling grateful is not simply a “must”. In fact, research shows that the need for grateful people to offer something to someone else comes from their heart. If you want to teach your children to feel these emotions, writing and painting as an activity helps a lot. This is because this is how children study and discover behaviors and emotions.
“We can teach our children to be more careful about how they feel and to use positive thoughts, which will make them feel grateful,” says Catchings. “When children learn their feelings and understand who it causes them positive emotions, they help a lot in appreciating what is given to them, instead of thinking what they do not have “.
What you can try: Write a simple “thank you” note.
Gratitude is something that is learned
Thanks to “neuroplasticity”, the ability of our brain to constantly learn new things, we have the ability to train our brain to look for things for which we feel grateful. This, of course, is very good news for someone who thought he would be pessimistic forever, don’t you agree?
If you practice daily, then you will find the strength to change the way your brain thinks. Instead of dwelling on what is wrong, focus on what is going well.
What you can try: As soon as you wake up, write down something you look forward to doing today.
Gratitude fights stress
Gratitude after practices such as meditation has been shown to reduce stress. Studies show that if you focus on the things you are grateful for, they can help you cope better with stressful situations and live longer better lives.
Many therapists, including Cynthia Catchings, report that meditating on love is very effective in creating a sense of gratitude.
As Catchings put it: “Love-centered meditation, also known as metta meditation, teaches us through practice that we first learn to love ourselves without limits, and then learn how to love those around us in the same way. ».
“People who have self-esteem issues or have experienced domestic violence benefit from metta-type meditation, but ultimately it helps everyone as we learn how to truly love ourselves,” she said.
What you can try: Take a deep breath, close your eyes and think about the following:
- One thing you love about yourself,
- One thing you love about someone around you,
- One thing you appreciate about someone you do not know well.
Gratitude is not always necessary
And yet, there are times when it is not necessary to feel grateful. “Gratitude, to be helpful, must be genuine,” says Catchings.
Instead, a therapist will help us see the condition with the right eye. Personally, when I went through a traumatic experience, the classic advice “you have to think positively” or “think about the lesson you will take after that” made me feel worse.
I found a very correct study according to which a person who feels grateful does not feel happy all the time. In fact, people who feel feelings of gratitude are open to other emotions, which they recognize more easily.
What you can try: Think of a person who helped you get through a difficult situation, and tell him how much this attitude helped you.
At the end of the day, gratitude has nothing to do with the meditation you do in the morning, or what you write in your album. Gratitude springs from within you and concerns the small moments. It has to do with the people next to you and encapsulates all its meaning, in two words: “Thank you”.
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