What if a powerful happy drug was available to you at a moments notice, was free, and could be used day or night? What if I told you we don’t have to wait for the future?! It is here now, only it isn’t a drug. This miracle cure I’m referring to is gratitude. We all know we are supposed to feel grateful, but why? Here are four ways in which gratitude can actually help you change your mood and your behavior– and your brain.
How Gratitude Helps
Brain Chemistry– Researchers have already found that simply searching for what we are grateful for can lead to an increase in serotonin (a feel good neurotransmitter). We don’t even have to know exactly what we are grateful for yet, we can simply search.
Positively Positive– Another benefit of gratitude is that it focuses our attention on the positive emotions and that in essence primes us to pay attention to even more positive emotions! Positivity begets even more positivity. And what isn’t positive about that?
Brain Change– When we focus our attention, it actually strengthens the connections in the brain (the neuronal pathways) similar to a path being well-worn. This stronger connection is essentially changing the brain– which is what truly changes our behavior.
Like Attracts Like– Spiritual teachers such as Abraham Hicks suggest that like attracts like (see number 2) or that when we are positive we attract more things that are positive. When we are negative, we attract more that is negative. Now, PLEASE don’t use this as a way to let that critical voice in your head be negative to you! If things are feeling negative or hard right now, the best way out of that situation is to actually do what is counterintuitive: ACCEPT IT (read my previous blog post).
And the best news is that the research has shown that as little as once a week is enough to make a difference in your life. Watch this short video (2:37) to learn about the benefits of gratitude.
Peace and Gratitude,