The list of things in our lives that conjure a feeling of gratitude is very long. However, we tend to take them for granted most of the time, forgetting to stop and appreciate the good health, successful career, and happy family life that we are blessed with.
A growing body of research shows that the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. Years of research by psychologist Robert Emmons Ph.D., the world’s leading gratitude researcher, prove that keeping a gratitude journal can significantly improve your well-being and life fulfillment.
Gratefulness can improve your mood and boost optimism, increase your productivity, help you express more kindness and empathy, have thriving relationships. Research has shown that keeping a gratitude journal by writing down three of your blessings every day for three weeks can significantly increase your optimism. And the effect will last for six months, studies show.
How Gratitude can Rewire Your Brain
How does gratitude work to improve our mental, emotional, and physical health? Research in the field of gratitude suggests that people who regularly practice gratefulness tend to be happier and healthier.
Scientific research shows that gratitude may reprogram the brain to be more sensitive to experiencing thankfulness. In short, expressing gratitude will make it easier to notice and count your blessings. One study demonstrated that when people feel more grateful, their brain shows greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which is the brain’s center responsible for learning and decision-making.
Moreover, study participants stated that gratitude creates a feeling of social bonding and helps them relax. What makes these results even more astonishing is the fact that the positive effects gratitude had on the brain were observed three months after the study.
How to Practice Gratitude?
There are a few things that you can do to reprogram your mind for gratefulness. Turn these strategies into your daily habits of practicing gratitude and you’ll attract positive outcomes in your life.
Write a gratitude journal. Start your mornings writing down three things you are grateful for. This will boost your optimism and enthusiasm and help you start your day with a positive thought.
Count your blessings before bedtime. Each night before you fall asleep, make sure you name three things that conjure a feeling of thankfulness in your life. Fall asleep feeding your subconscious mind with the thoughts of positivity and gratefulness.
Practice positive affirmations. Research shows that positive affirmations can reprogram your subconscious mind for success. Affirmations are positive self-thoughts that can boost your stress resilience and help you cope with anxious rumination. Additionally, positive affirmations can enhance your mood, and improve your interpersonal relationships. Therefore, make sure to practice affirmations every day. You can do this by writing a list of the desired outcomes in your life and add positive statements for each of them. Post positive affirmations within your eyesight and go back to them often.
Make gratitude your daily habit. Counting blessings shaped into a habit of being grateful can improve your emotional control, boost your optimism, and make your interpersonal relationships stronger. In summary, gratitude can considerably improve your health and happiness.