How Gratitude Works
Gratitude literally changes the neural structure of your brain!
This isn’t just in our heads. This isn’t about being a chronically optimistic person. Practicing gratitude has neurological effects on our bodies, among many other positive influences, including:
- Increasing our optimism, self esteem, spirituality and empathy
- Improving our relationships
- Reducing our stress
- Helping us better manage our remaining stress
- Improving our quality of sleep
- Developing our emotional awareness
- Reducing pain
- Releasing toxic emotions
- Reducing anxiety + depression
- Regulating our immune systems
- Triggers or feel good hormones
Not convinced yet? According to PositivePyscology.com, “Gratitude is positively correlated to more vitality, energy, and enthusiasm to work harder.”
Practicing gratitude is motivating, encouraging and empowers us to be more optimistic! Are you convinced yet? Are you ready to give it a try?
Before we share with you how to incorporate gratitude practices in your every day, here is a visualization for how this works.
Ways to Practice Gratitude Daily
- Keep a gratitude journal – whether you begin or end your day with gratitude, we recommend writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day + get specific.
- Share your gratitudes with a loved one – find time each day to share your 3 things with someone else. Dinner time and bedtime are great places to add this new tradition.
- Thank you notes – When you are grateful for someone or something someone did, let them know! Whether you call them, see them in person, treat them to a gift or send them a card, the practice of sharing your gratitude with them will make both of your days brighter.
- Complimenting yourself and others – Yes! Complimenting yourself and being grateful for all your body does for you each and every day is a practice of gratitude. You can also get the same chemical reaction in your brain from smiling or complimenting a stranger!
- Let yourself feel happiness when it comes up – If you have a history of being pessimistic this one may hit home for yourself. You deserve to feel happy so when you notice the feeling coming up, give yourself permission to soak in all its goodness!
- Keep a gratitude jar – Somedays it is epically difficult to stay positive or find anything to be grateful for. So, prepare yourself for these days by having a jar filled with scraps of paper listing things you have been and are grateful for. This will remind you that even on the darkest of days, you have something to be grateful for.
- Ask for help – When we allow others to support us, we make room for more and more things to be grateful for. We expand our network + we meet our needs as a human being.
There are many many more ways to practice gratitude and if you haven’t yet subscribed to our newsletter, we share a small gratitude practice each month. Some are as simple as thinking about what you are grateful for and others include involving others in your practice. The gift here is it truly doesn’t matter how you practice gratitude. All that matters is you show up for yourself and do something.