Gratitude and Mental Health:
A Natural Solution to a Common Problem?
If you could feel 25% happier all of the time, would you? As many as 1 in 2 experience mental health problems at one time in their life. Mental health problems are increasingly common. Gratitude is a great tool as part of the antidote to negative feelings. Unfortunately, gratitude is not profitable to the "happy pill" or advertising industries. So, they tend not to mention it too much.
Feelings of lack, not having or being enough lead to poorer mental health, depression and anxiety. And we are living in a world of you need this or that junk to "feel happy". But hey, if the consumerism hitting the spot, there's a pill for that. As if pills are a magic fix to the problem. Gratitude can seriously help you improve your mental health. Even better, gratitude can even remove the cause of the problem(s) breeding poor mental health in the first place. And this removal of the problem, is where the real healing lies.
Gratitude and Mental Health
Gratitude is the feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for what we have in life. We feel better, almost instantly, when we shift our focus to abundance. Rather than complaining about how crappy life seems. Look for the silver lining, find the positive aspects and focus on that. This isn't to say ignore the bad, but choosing not to dwell on it.
According to the law of attraction, what we focus our energy and emotions on, we create. As a consequence, focusing on shit, will attract more shit. Self fulfilling prophecies are what you make them, so choose your focus wisely. Your focus should always be the positive aspect of what you want. For example, focus on happiness and abundance over being less miserable and scraping by.
At any given time you always have the choice of where to place your focus and hold all the keys to changing your perspective. Choosing the attitude of gratitude increases your sense of happiness and over time creates new patterns of thinking.
- Gratitude is feeling thankful and appreciation
- You create what you give your emotions and energy to
- Focus on the positives, there is always one
- You have the choice of what to focus on
- Gratitude increases happiness
Trying to stay sane inside of the Covid19 lockdown? Combine your gratitude with these 3 easy steps to lockdown survival!
Does Gratitude Affect Our Chemical Composition?
Yes, gratitude actually changes the chemical composition in your body. Expressing and experiencing gratitude increases serotonin and dopamine levels, powerful neurotransmitters that protect against poor mental and emotional health.
Serotonin, found mostly in the gut, reduces depression and regulates anxiety. Gut health is therefore, key to keeping depression at bay. Discover more about gut health and how to improve it here. Often attempts to "correct" low levels of serotonin is through drugs, i.e antidepressants. Gratitude alone helps to increase serotonin naturally to reduce these feelings and increase well being without pills. Gratitude costs nothing and the only "side effects" are an increased sense of happiness and well being. #winning
Dopamine heavily influences our reward, pleasure and motivation circuits. Lack of dopamine opens you up you to procrastination and inability to experience pleasure. As a result, mental health is impacted negatively. Healthy dopamine levels increase productivity, enabling you to reach your full potential.
Practicing gratitude creates feelings of pleasure, increasing your experience of pleasure in everyday life. When we express gratitude happiness increases by up to 25%!
- Serotonin reduces depression
- Regulates anxiety
- Dopamine influences motivation
- Increases ability to feel pleasure
- Gratitude makes you 25% happier
- Gratitude increases levels of serotonin and dopamine
And That's a Wrap
Gratitude positively affects mental health. In fact, gratitude rewires your brain. And the best part? You hold all the keys to improving your mental health. By simply changing your perspective through employing the art of gratitude. You can reduce your need for medication and even it avoid it completely by making small, consistent changes to your everyday life. Do you believe in your ability to change your life for the better? I do.
Has gratitude improved your mental health? What are you grateful for today? Drop me a comment below.
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This does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to treat or cure any condition. I am simply sharing my experience/opinion. Seek advise from your healthcare practitioner before using herbs or supplements.