Would you believe me if I told you that there is one simple thing you can do that will have a hugely positive effect not only on your mind, but on your body as well?
That’s right! It’s true! It’s easy! Most importantly, anyone can do it! And it’s free!
This one simple thing:
- Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
- Enhances peace of mind
- Increases optimism and happiness
- Strengthens resiliency
- Helps you to sleep better
- Decreases fatigue
- Reduces inflammation in your cells
- Decreases pain levels
- Increases energy and vitality
It’s like a miracle cure and it’s scientifically proven.
Any guesses as to what this one simple thing is?
Well…if you guessed GRATITUDE you’re right!
The benefits of practicing Gratitude are incredible.
Here’s how it works.
Every time you express gratitude, your brain releases the chemical Dopamine which is known as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter.
It acts like a messenger allowing your nervous system to send messages or communication between your nerve cells.
Dopamine is associated with feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and reward, and it boosts our mood, our motivation, and our attention in addition to playing other roles in helping our body and brain to function.
Therefore, when we are grateful for something or someone, our brain rewards us (with the release of the ‘feel good’ Dopamine) and because it feels good, we want to feel it again and again.
As a result, we become motivated to give thanks and to do good for others…both of which cause Dopamine to be released into our systems.
The bottom line is the more you practice Gratitude, the more often Dopamine is released into your system.
The more Dopamine, the better you feel. And the neurological effects of this process contribute to many other health benefits.
In terms of stress reduction, anxiety, depression or simply feeling grumpy, gratitude is a beautiful thing. If you pause for a moment and come up with 5 things in your head that you are grateful for, your perspective will immediately shift, your mood improves and feelings of stress, anxiety or depression decrease.
If you listen to the news a lot or if you have major negativity in your social media feeds for instance, it can seem like the whole world is nasty or that there’s nothing but bad news everywhere. Again, pausing and thinking of 5 things to be grateful puts you in a new mindset and immediately helps you to realize that while there certainly is negativity in the world, there is a whole lot of positive as well and a lot to be grateful for. As humans, we do tend to gravitate toward the negative and this simple technique is extremely effective at shifting our perspective in order to see the whole picture, not simply the negative.
If you have trouble sleeping, doing a gratitude practice before you close your eyes at night can make a difference to how fast you fall asleep and to the quality of your sleep.
Coming up with 5 things to be grateful for first thing in the morning sets a wonderful tone for the day ahead.
However, you will see the BIGGEST Benefit, when you write down your gratitude list.
Studies show that while coming up with a gratitude list in your head is certainly helpful, the act of writing or keeping a Gratitude journal deepens the experience and you enjoy more of the Dopamine effect.
For best results, write down your Gratitude list every day. The more you do it, the more positive the results on your mind, mental health and your body.
Here’s how you do it:
- In a journal or a notebook, write down 5 things (or more) you feel grateful for.
It’s the act of writing it down that brings about the best results.
- It doesn’t matter what you write down…
it can be seemingly small things like enjoying a healthy meal, sharing a laugh at work or a beautiful sunrise…or you can write about things that are larger in importance in your life (a new healthy baby born into the family, good news from your Doctor, etc.).
- As you are writing your list, remember that the purpose is to focus on a good event, either an experience, a person or something in your life…and then to pause for a moment and allow the good emotions to sink in. Feel the good feelings that the Dopamine effect rewards you with.
Why not give it a try? What have you got to lose? Stress, Anxiety, Depression?
Less of any of these is a good thing.
Cheers to less stress and more Dopamine