Gratitude Changes your Brain
Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude are healthier, happier, more effective, and more resilient. They report better physical and psychological health, engage in more healthy activities, and are more willing to seek help for health concerns than individuals who do not consciously practice gratitude. Gratitude has also been linked to a decrease in depressive symptoms and an increase in positive emotion. Healthy people who are grateful tend to stay healthy, and sick people feel better when they practice gratitude. Gratitude makes a difference in all stages of people’s lives. When children and adolescents practice gratitude, their grades go up, their stress goes down, family relationships improve, and high-risk behaviors decline.
Grounding Neuro-Tip to Nourish Emotional Resilience
Are you allowing the current global crisis to affect you in any way?
If so, here’s a couple of proven strategies that you can use during challenging times to keep you centered and counteract worries and anxiety.
Take these basic steps to connect with yourself and create your inner space.
- Mindfully breathe in this very moment……………. and breathe out.
- Breathe in, noticing the quality of the air coming through your nose (is it warm? cold?) and be aware of your lungs and belly expanding. With each breath you take, feel as if you were breathing through the skin.…, and exhale. Next, think of at least three things that you are most grateful for in your life and vocalize them: say them aloud.
- Take a moment to incorporate other senses into this experience: write them down on a piece of paper and loudly verbalize them again.
- Then as you inhale, try visualizing and feeling gratitude filling up your body and your lungs while you say to yourself: I breathe in gratitude/ joy
- As you exhale: I breathe out fear/anxiety (try visualizing anxiety leaving your body while you breathe out)
Now, take a moment to acknowledge and notice how your worries, fears or anxiety have disappeared and a sense of well-being and calm has set in.
To your wellbeing,
- “The effects of counting blessings on subjective well-being: A gratitude intervention in a Spanish sample.” Martínez-Martí M. L., Avia M. D., Hernández-Lloreda M. J. Spanish Journal of Psychology. 2010 Nov; 13(2):886-96.
- “Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life.” Emmons R. A., McCullough M. E. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2003 Feb; 84(2):377–89.