The Power of Practicing Gratitude Every Day
I’m sure you have heard of 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.
Practicing gratitude every day can make a significant difference in your life. As someone who practices gratitude daily, I can attest to its benefits. I do it as soon as I wake up and before I go to bed. For starters, it makes you grateful for all that you have and diminishes every day frustrations we may encounter.
But, did you know that gratitude can also 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. It also strengthens the relationships you have, as people are more likely to want to be around those who express gratitude and appreciation for their presence in their lives.
2. Physical Health Improvements
Interestingly, people who regularly practice gratitude experience fewer aches and pains, and report feeling healthier than their peers. Harvard Health Publishing even reported a study in which patients with heart disease who practiced gratitude showed significant improvements in heart health.
3. Boost in Psychological Health
The practice of gratitude can combat toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, regret, and frustration. A gratitude practice is shown to effectively increase happiness and help ward off depression. It can also help shift your focus from what you lack to what you have, which can bring a sense of contentment and fulfillment.
4. Gratitude Can Help You Sleep Better
When you take a moment to express gratitude before bed, it can actually help you sleep better. By filling your mind with appreciation before your head hits the pillow, you can forget the nuisances of your day-to-day routine, and not let it interfere with your sleep.
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. Gratitude also helps you focus on what you have accomplished, rather than what you have yet to achieve, which can lead to a sense of pride and motivation to keep going.
In conclusion, 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. Start practicing gratitude today, and see the positive changes it can bring to your life.