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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.