By Lace / April 14, 2020

​How Gratitude Rewires Your Brain & Body

​Each of us could do with a little more gratitude in our lives. In fact, some of us need a whole lot of gratitude to make our lives happier and easier, after all, who doesn't want to be happy and content? But what exactly is gratitude and where can you get some? It's one of those beautiful things that can't be bought but it isn't difficult to find. When we practice regularly, gratitude rewires the brain. Literally, creates new pathways for a happier, healthier you. So,if you want to learn more about how gratitude rewires the brain and how you can benefit from the attitude of gratitude this post is just for you.


​What is Gratitude is (and is not)

gratitude is

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

​Gratitude is being grateful for what one has, what others do (or don't do) and finding the silver lining in the here and now, whatever that may be. Giving thanks for what one has and shifting ones perspective to focus more on the positive aspects of our experiences. 

​Sometimes folks think gratitude is just being happy with shitty situations or people. It's NOT.  Gratitude is not allowing yourself to be taken the piss out of, it is not being a doormat or pretending everything is fine when it really isn't. You must be aware of the negative influences, habits and toxic people in your life and act accordingly to free yourself. ​Learn the lessons and get the fuck out of there so you can be grateful for getting past that crap and having learnt whatever lesson needed to be learn. 

Situations that are less than ideal can help us find gratitude in the things that are beautiful and positive more easily though. Ever have a crappy day and a stranger helps you out or pays you a compliment? Zoning in on that small gesture and how good it made you feel is the attitude of gratitude. Shifting your perspective and focusing on giving thanks for the good things is the practice of gratitude. This small shift in perspective to identifying the positives, has massive impact on your health and well being.

Summary: 

  • ​Gratitude is finding the positives
  • It is being thankful for what you have
  • Gratitude is NOT settling for less or toxic situations/people
  • ​Gratitude is shifting your focus to the good things in life

​How Gratitude Rewires Your Brain & Body?

healthy and peaceful

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Practicing gratitude creates new neural pathways in the brain. More specifically, neural sensitivity in the decision making and learning departments of your noggin are increased, rewiring your brain with healthier patterns in thinking. These new pathways helps you to feel more love and warmth towards others and reduced stress. Less stress means:

  • Boosted immune system
  • ​Less inflammation 
  • ​Reduced physical health symptoms/problems
  • ​Improved mental health
  • Enhanced emotional well being 

Do you ever feel empty, that you are not enough or need more? Well, gratitude helps fix those feelings of lack too. Turning your focus inwards to pay special attention to the good things you already have makes one feel happier and content.

Did I mention all this is yours for FREE? You have the power to create all these benefits for yourself with nothing but the investment of a little time and energy. The question now is how can you practice the art of gratitude to make sure your are getting your daily dose?

Summary: 

  • ​Gratitude creates new neural pathways
  • ​Less stress
  • ​More love and warmth towards others
  • Reduced physical health symptoms/problems
  • Improved mental health
  • Enhanced emotional well being
  • Healthier patterns of thinking and behavior

​How Can I Practice Gratitude?

​So you want to get the attitude of gratitude and find a happier, healthier you. There are several easy ways to start your practice. Please don't be discouraged when results are not immediate, like with anything, results take time. Up to 12 weeks in this case but it depends, just remember it didn't take overnight to create your current patterns of behavior and ways of thinking, so changes them won't be achieved overnight either. 

​Three simple entry routes to gratitude practice: 

  1. ​Making a daily note in your journal or notebook aka gratitude diary detailing what you are thankful, in particular, each day. Aim for about 3 things but if you can only find one or you list is huge just write it down. Gratitude journals are really nice to look back on because they generate good feelings and reflect on just how good life is.
  2. Positive affirmations, are simple positive statements phrased in the present tense. Find one or two you like or better yet, write them yourself and say them out loud daily. These little statements help you experience and create more gratitude within your life.
  3. Get meditating. Meditation turns our attention inwards to our happy, peaceful place. Gratitude specific and loving kindness meditations are really nice for practicing gratitude and love towards others, but all mediation is awesome for this kind of practice.

Summary: 

  • ​Keep a gratitude journal/diary
  • ​Use positive affirmations
  • Get meditating
  • Express your thanks and gratitude to others
  • Share the positive vibes

​Practicing gratitude really does rewire your brain and create a healthier, happier you. From healthier thinking patterns and behaviors to ​boosting your immune system, can you really afford not to adopt the attitude of gratitude? Me thinks not. Whilst your on this journey, remember to express your gratitude and thanks to others too. Let folks know when you are grateful to them and why. Sharing the love and positive vibes with others makes their day that bit brighter too. And who knows, they might add your gesture to their gratitude diary when they get home 🙂

Tell me, what are your grateful for today? Do you keep a gratitude journal or use any of the gratitude practices listed above? How has being grateful changed your life?

About the author

Lace

Wife, mother and natural health and wellness enthusiast. When I'm not dabbling in natural stuff, I like to eat brie with onion chutney and mull over a good "coincidence" theory. Cooking up a nutritious storm, books with real pages and being barefoot are a few of my favourite things.


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