Expressing gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve your brain and your life. In this episode, I discuss the benefits of gratitude and how you can harness the superpower of thankfulness in your daily life.
What are you grateful for in this moment?
Every Thanksgiving, people reflect on what they’re most thankful for. This tradition can actually rewire your brain, and giving thanks year-round has tremendous benefits for your brain and body.
Gratitude is an appreciation of what is meaningful to you.
You can train yourself to constantly be thankful for the little things in life.
Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. – Zig Ziglar
Your hypothalamus is the part of your brain that regulates critical bodily functions like your appetite. A National Institutes of Health study found that when you express kindness or feel gratitude, your hypothalamus floods your brain with dopamine. This gives you a natural high, motivating you to do good and express gratitude even more.
UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center found that regularly expressing gratitude changes the molecular structure of your brain, keeps your gray matter functioning, and makes you healthier and happier.
Why Gratitude Is Good For You
Expressing Gratitude improves your physical health and energy levels.
Expressing Gratitude improves your mental health.
Expressing Gratitude improves your sleep.
Expressing Gratitude improves your mental strength.
Expressing Gratitude improves your self-esteem.
Easy Ways to Increase Gratitude in Your Life.
There’s an old parable that tells of a farmer’s horse who ran away. The neighbor said, “What a shame,” and the farmer said, “Maybe.”
The next day, the horse returned with wild horses. The neighbor said, “How wonderful,” and the farmer said, “Maybe.”
The next day, the horse stepped on the father’s son’s arm, and it broke. The neighbor said, “How horrible,” and the farmer said, “Maybe.”
The next day, the government came to the farmer’s village to draft people for the war and passed over the farmer’s son. The neighbor said, “How wonderful,” and the farmer said, “Maybe.”
Remember that you determine what things mean because gratitude is a state of mind.
There were once 2 twin boys who resembled each other only in looks and were otherwise opposite in every way. One was an optimist, and one was a pessimist. On the boys’ birthday, their father loaded the pessimist’s room with toys and games and the optimist’s room with horse manure just to see what would happen. That evening, the father found the pessimist crying bitterly. The pessimist said that his friends would be jealous, he’d have to read all of these instructions, and the toys would soon be broken. But the optimist was dancing for joy in his pile of manure. When the father asked why, the optimist replied, “With all this manure, there has to be a pony in here somewhere!”
Nothing is positive. Nothing is negative. It is your thinking that makes it so.
The more you practice gratitude, the more aware you are of it, and the more you can enjoy its benefits.
What do you have to be grateful for today?