One simple practice can change our lives and our brains.
Gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness, acknowledgement, recognition, or gratefulness is basic to our nature as socially evolved beings who survived and developed by helping and being helped.
Even though, over the last two years of living with the pandemic, suffering the loss of loved ones, livelihoods, and former freedoms, our recognition of the things that truly matter has increased, it may be inspiring to learn about this practice’s amazing effects on our brain and life.
Here’s why gratitude matters:
Gratitude is effective in helping us recognize the good things, and also acknowledging how others help create goodness in our lives. Skillful gratitude practitioners are even able to be appreciative of challenges and difficulties for the inherent lessons they contain.
Thankfulness can be an emotion (feeling of joy), and a personality trait (an inclination to be grateful). It is a spontaneous feeling, but is becoming evident from research that it has tremendous value if it is consciously practiced. Studies reveal that feelings of gratitude originate in specific brain parts, and that regular practice rewires the brain to handle circumstances with compassion and calm.
The benefits are:
Being mindfully attentive of your surroundings, encounters, and interactions predisposes you to become grateful, because you are present to notice little acts of kindness: a warm hug, a sympathetic ear, the friendly welcome, the food you are eating, and even an umbrella in the rain.
To begin a daily gratitude practice,
Regular gratitude practice will help you feel more physically and mentally relaxed. Also when you are grateful it reminds you of our connection to others and it relieves stress, which leads to greater wellbeing and improved health over time. Gratitude can also be intrinsically rewarding.
May your gratitude flourish.