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How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Brain And Life

How Practicing Gratitude Can Change Your Brain And Life

I’m sure you have heard the latest craze about practicing gratitude every day. Do you find yourself wondering what’s so special about practicing gratitude? Have you ever wondered how practicing gratitude can change your brain and your life? If so, you’re in for a treat.

I practice gratitude every day. I do it as soon as I wake up and before I go to bed. Why? Well, for starters, it makes you grateful for all that you have and diminishes every day frustrations we may encounter.

To take it a step further, gratitude can actually change your brain. Here’s how.

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The Science Behind Gratitude

You may have heard of the saying, “Those who play together, stay together.” It’s basically the same for your brain and gratitude. Here’s why:

Within your brain is an assortment of synapses that are separated by an empty space. This empty space is called the synaptic cleft. When you have a thought or an emotion, one synapse shoots a chemical across the empty space to another synapse, which in turn creates a bridge where an electrical signal can cross.

Let’s take it a step further. When this electrical charge is triggered again, the synapses grow closer together. In a sense, your brain is changing and rewiring itself to make it easier for you to process that thought (in this case: gratitude).

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So gratitude is like a brain muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it becomes.

Gratitude Can Change Your Life

It’s hard nowadays to know what you’re reading is trustworthy. With respect to practicing gratitude and how it can change your life, please grant yourself permission to trust. It’s worth it.

Gratitude can change your life in the following ways:

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1. Opens Doors to Relationships

When you take a moment to express appreciation for other people, such as a simple, “Thank you”, it can help you create new friendships.

2. Physical Health Improvements

Turns out people who regularly practice gratitude experience fewer aches and pains. They also report feeling healthier than their peers.

3. Boost in Psychological Health

The practice of gratitude can combat toxic emotions. Some of these emotions may include envy, resentment, regret, and downright frustration. A gratitude practice is shown to effectively increase happiness and help ward off depression.

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4. Gratitude Can Help You Sleep Better

When you take a moment to express gratitude before bed, it can actually help you sleep better. When you take a moment to express gratitude before your head hits the pillow, you fill your mind with appreciation and forget the nuisances of your day-to-day routine.

5. Kickstart Your Self-Esteem

Gratitude helps reduce the need to compare to others, which in turn gives you a boost in your self-esteem.

Conclusion

We all should take the opportunity to start a practice of gratitude in our lives. By taking a few minutes every morning and evening to focus and reflect on all that you have to be grateful for and to appreciate those in your life, you can begin changing your life. Not only will you rewire your brain, but you will also open the door to future relationships, improve your physical and psychological well-being, improve your sleep quality, and boost your self-esteem.

More by this author

Tara Massan

Founder of Be Moved, Life Coach and Writer.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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