The neuroscience of gratitude and how it affects the brain (2023)

The neuroscience of gratitude and how it affects the brain (1)We all want a happy life...

A comfortable job, a perfect family, financial stability and a great social life!

And how many times, in this incessant search for happiness that often seems like a mirage, how many times do we stop for a minute to be grateful for what we already have at that moment?

Gratitude is a powerful human emotion. By sending and receiving simple "thank you" messages, we can actually have the joy we seek elsewhere. Gratitude, derived from the Latin word "gratia", means thanks or gratitude.

In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a "state of gratitude" or a "state of gratitude."

Before you read on, we think you might like it.Download our three grief exercises [PDF] for free. These science-backed tools will help you guide yourself or others through grief in a compassionate way.

This article contains:

  • how gratitude works
  • The neuroscientific exploration of gratitude
  • How gratitude affects the brain
  • Does gratitude change the brain?
  • Joy, Gratitude and the Brain
  • fear and gratitude
  • contemplate gratitude and sadness
  • The relationship between resilience and gratitude
  • gratitude and stress
  • A Look at Depression and Gratitude
  • How does gratitude affect mental health?
  • A message to take home
  • references

"Gratitude can turn ordinary days into thanksgiving, routine tasks into joy, and ordinary occasions into blessings."


In positive psychology, gratitude is the human way of recognizing the good things in life. there are psychologistsdefinite gratitudeas a positive emotional response that we perceive when receiving or receiving a benefit from someone (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).

A similar explanation was put forward by Emmons and McCullough, who said:

“Gratitude is associated with a personal benefit not sought, earned, or gained intentionally, but because of another person's good intentions” (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).

Thanking others, thanking ourselves, Mother Nature, or the Almighty—gratitude in any form can clear the mind and make us happier. It has a healing effect on us (Russell & Fosha, 2008). OBenefits of Gratitudeare endless, and in this article we want to try to discover what gratitude is, discuss its scientific basis and understand how we can use gratitude to be happier in life.

The neuroscience of gratitude and how it affects the brain (2)

[Reviewer Update]

While gratitude is part of a happy life (Watkins et al., 2003), being happy can lead to better health throughout life (e.g., Steptoe & Wardle, 2005; Cohen et al., 2003; Pettit et al. ., 2001). ), the most immediate and reliable benefits of gratitude are psychological and social rather than physical.

how gratitude works

"Enjoy the little things. For a day you might look back and realize they were the big things."

Robert Brault

Gratitude in all forms is associated with happiness. Whether we say “thank you” to someone or receive the same from others, the feeling it brings is one of pure satisfaction and encouragement. Expressions of gratitude help build and maintain long-term relationships, deal with adversity and come out of it stronger and more motivated.

gratitude brings happiness

Gratitude improves interpersonal relationships at home and at work (Gordon, Impett, Kogan, Oveis, & Keltner, 2012). The connection between gratitude and happiness is multidimensional. Expressing gratitude not only to others but also to ourselves triggers positive emotions, especially happiness. By creating feelings of joy and contentment, gratitude also affects our overall health and well-being.

British psychologist and wellness expert Robert Holden, in a survey of gratitude among adult professionals, found that 65 out of 100 people prefer happiness to health, despite saying that both are equally important to living well. Holden suggested in his study that the roots of many psychopathological conditions, such as depression, anxiety and stress, are unhappiness.

Simple practices like keeping aGratitude DiaryComplimenting yourself or sending little tokens of appreciation and thanks can make us feel so much better and instantly lift our spirits. Studies of couples have also shown that partners who frequently express gratitude to each other were able to maintain their relationships with mutual trust and loyalty and had happy, long-lasting relationships.

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Gratitude improves health

Gratitude affects mental and physical well-being. Positive psychology and mental health researchers have discovered an overwhelming connection between gratitude and good health in recent decades. Keeping a gratitude journal causes less stress, improves sleep quality, and increases emotional awareness (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005).

Gratitude is positively correlated with increased vitality, energy and enthusiasm to work harder.

Gratitude builds professional commitment

Grateful employees are more efficient, productive, and accountable. Expressing gratitude in the workplace is a proactive way to build interpersonal bonds and trigger feelings of closeness and connection (Algoe, 2012).

Employees who practice expressing gratitude at work are more likely to volunteer for more tasks, are willing to go the extra mile to get their tasks done, and enjoy working as part of a team. Furthermore, managers and supervisors who are grateful and remember to convey the same have stronger group cohesion and better productivity.

(Video) The Science of Gratitude

You recognize good work, give everyone in the group the importance they deserve, and actively communicate with team members.

Gratitude makes a leader compassionate, caring, empathetic, and loved among others.

The neuroscientific exploration of gratitude

"Gratitude is the healthiest of all human feelings."

Zig Ziglar

Gratitude was important in ancient philosophies and cultures, for example in Roman culture, where Cicero called gratitude the "mother" of all human feelings. However, as an area of ​​neuropsychological research, it was a rare topic until the last two decades (Emmons & McCullough, 2004).

Gratitude and the Brain

Neural mechanisms responsible for feelings of gratitude have attracted attention (Wood et al., 2008). At the brain level, studies have shown that moral judgments involving feelings of gratitude are evoked in the right anterior temporal cortex (Zahn et al., 2009).

People who express and feel gratitude have greater gray matter volume in the right inferior temporal gyrus (Zahn et al., 2014).

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Gratitude and Neurotransmitters

Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva, a popular meditation training website, mentioned in one of her posts that gratitude is a "natural antidepressant". The effects of gratitude when practiced daily can be almost the same as medication. It creates a lasting feeling of happiness and contentment, the physiological basis of which is at the neurotransmitter level.

When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel "good". They instantly lift our spirits and make us happy inside.

By consciously practicing gratitude every day, we can help these neural pathways grow stronger and ultimately create a lasting positive and grateful nature within us.

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Gratitude and Social Psychology

Gratitude has a social aspect that argues that it is a socially motivated emotion. Social psychologists believe that it is intertwined with perceptions of what we have done for others and what others have done for us (Emmons & McNamara, 2006).

According to them, gratitude is an emotion that directly aims to build and maintain social ties (Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008) and reinforce prosocial responses in the future (McCullough, Kimeldorf, & Cohen, 2008).

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How gratitude affects the brain

“It is not happiness that brings us gratitude. It is gratitude that makes us happy.”

Gratitude can be a gesture or a set of kind words that we give or receive from others. But this simple exchange of gratitude has a huge impact on all of our biological functioning – especially the brain and nervous system. The effects of gratitude on the brain are long-lasting (Zahn et al., 2007).

In addition to strengthening self-love and empathy, gratitude has a significant impact on bodily functions and psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.

1. Gratitude Releases Toxic Emotions

The limbic system is the part of the brain responsible for all emotional experiences. It is formed by the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus and cingulate gyrus. Studies have shown that feelings of gratitude activate the hippocampus and amygdala, the two main sites that regulate emotions, memory and bodily functions.

A study of people seeking mental health counseling found that those in the group who wrote thank-you letters throughout their regular counseling sessions felt better and recovered faster (Wong et al., 2018).

The other group in the study, who were asked to record their negative experiences rather than writing them downthank you lettersreported feelings of anxiety and depression.

2. Gratitude eases pain

Counting Blessings vs Burdens (Emmons & McCullough, 2003), a study that evaluated the effect of gratitude on physical well-being, showed that 16% of patients whoGratitude Diaryreported reduced pain symptoms and were more willing to train and cooperate with the treatment procedure. A deeper exploration of the cause revealed that gratitude fills us with more vitality by regulating dopamine levels and thereby reducing subjective feelings of pain.

3. Gratitude improves sleep quality

studiesshowed that receiving and showing simple acts of kindness activates the hypothalamus, thereby regulating all bodily mechanisms controlled by the hypothalamus, a vital one of which is sleep.

The regulation of the hypothalamus triggered by gratitude helps us naturally sleep deeper and healthier every day. A brain full of gratitude and kindness is more likely to sleep better and wake up refreshed and energized each morning (Zahn et al., 2009).

4. Gratitude helps regulate stress

McCraty and colleagues (cited in McCraty & Childre, 2004) found in one of their studies on gratitude and appreciation that participants who felt grateful had significant reductions in levels of the stress hormone cortisol. They had better heart function and were more resistant to emotional setbacks and negative experiences.

Important studies over the years have found that by practicing gratitude, we are better at managing stress than others. By recognizing and appreciating just the little things in life, we can rewire the brain to deal with current circumstances with more awareness and broader awareness.

5. Gratitude reduces anxiety and depression

By reducing stress hormones and controlling autonomic nervous system functions, gratitude significantly reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. On a neurochemical level, feelings of gratitude are associated with an increase in neural modulation of the prefrontal cortex, the brain's locus of management.negative emotionssuch as guilt, shame and violence.

As a result, people who keep gratitude journals or use verbal expressions to do so are naturally more empathetic and positive.

Does gratitude change the brain?

The neuroscience of gratitude and how it affects the brain (7)The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA found that gratitude does just that.change neural structuresin the brain and make us feel happier and more satisfied.

Thanking and appreciating others when they do something nice for us activates "good" hormones and regulates the effective functioning of the immune system.

(Video) Kiss your brain: The science of gratitude | Christina Costa | TEDxUofM

Scientists have suggested that by activating the brain's reward center, sharing gratitude changes the way we see the world and ourselves.

dr Alex Korb, in his bookupward spiralmentions that gratitude forces us to focus on the positive side of life.

When we give thanks and receive, our brain is automatically redirected to pay attention to what we have, generating intrinsic motivation and a strong awareness of the present. Also on a neurochemical level, gratitude acts as a catalyst for neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine – those that control our emotions, anxiety and immediate stress responses.

You can find a list withthe best books on gratitude here.

Joy, Gratitude and the Brain

“Be grateful for what you have, you will end up having more. If you focus on what you don't have, you'll never have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey

Grateful people can experience more happiness and joy in daily life. As suggested by G.K. Chesterton, in his famous agricultural metaphor, the pursuit of true happiness is much the same as farming. We will not achieve the desired result unless we properly feed and care for the seeds (Chesterton, 1986). The effects of practicing gratitude are not immediate and do not magically appear.

But once started, gratitude affects our physical and psychological well-being for years to come.

We know how to experience and express gratitude. Sometimes all we need is a little push or a reminder of how powerful andare important gratitude exercises. Dr Amit Kumar revealed an interesting fact in his recent research on gratitude exercises (Kumar & Epley, 2018).

In the study, participants were asked to leave notes for people who were very important to them in their lives, such as teachers, spouses or friends. And those notes weren't little "thank you" papers. They had to go into more detail and more depth. Surprisingly, participants were able to complete lengthy gratitude notes in less than five minutes and reported feeling satisfied afterwards.

Cultivate Happiness and Joy with Gratitude

Unhappy people lean more on their weaknesses and struggle with their self-identity. We need to stop doubting ourselves and start celebrating our successes. Do you want to know how? Here are some simple tricks that can help.

1. Value yourself

Stand in front of the mirror and say five nice things to yourself. It could be about your past accomplishments or your current endeavors, your talents and your strengths. Just say the words out loud. Compliment yourself with words like handsome, loyal, disciplined, kind, loving, etc. and see if that makes you feel better. Repeat as many times as you like and record your experience.

2. Gratitude Journal

You may have heard of this before. A gratitude journal is your personal place to write down all the little and big things in life that you are grateful for. Your gratitude journal can find a place in your “dear diary”, your daily planner or your online notebook. like yousit down to express gratitude, consciously focus on the good memories and maybe even recall some long-lost happy moments.

There is power in words, so don't overlook the little things, no matter how insignificant they may seem. A gratitude journal might look something like this:

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3. Gratitude Visits

We all have someone whose unconditional support and help meant a lot to us. We feel that we 'owe' them our happiness and success. If you have that person, it could be your friend, family, or professional partner. Meet her once or twice a month.

Start the plan, go and once again express your gratitude - make the person feel important. Exchange good memories and offer your support. In most cases, gratitude visits immediately bring a sense of sanctity and positivity.

4. Don't hesitate to be happy

If you're feeling happy, don't be afraid to do it. Remember that you worked hard enough to make this happen and you truly deserve it. Whether it's a big achievement or a small success, acknowledge your joy and be grateful for the moment. Embracing happiness makes us stronger and more grateful for what we have. We learn to praise our efforts and better prepare for future difficulties.

5. Find a Gratitude Partner

Find a gratitude partner for your daily practice—it could be your spouse, child, or friend at work. Set aside a few minutes each day for the two of you (or more if you have more friends) to sit together and discuss the things you are grateful for. Ask each other questions and open up informally. Sharing thoughts of gratitude with someone is a great way to stay motivated and boost your emotional skills.

fear and gratitude

The neuroscience of gratitude and how it affects the brain (9)Fear is the wake-up call built into our bodies, alerting us to danger.

When fear sets in, our bodies release hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight response, and we respond in kind. The brain doesn't have much time to analyze right or wrong once the adrenaline kicks in.

The worst consequence of fear is that we feel insecure and start to question our inner strengths. Eventually, the coping mechanisms start to fail.

In the book 'grateful brain,Author Alex Korb (2012) said that our brains are conditioned to function in repeated ways. For example, a person who worries too much about negative consequences will subconsciously rewire their brain to only process negative information. Korb mentioned that our minds cannot focus on both positive and negative information at the same time.

By consciously practicing gratitude, we can train the brain to selectively pay attention to positive emotions and thoughts, thereby reducing fear and anxiety.

Recent studies on gratitude and fear

These findings received further support after a recent study on the relationship between gratitude and fear of death (Lau & Cheng, 2011).

The experiment was conducted on 83 Chinese adults aged over 60, divided into three groups. One of the three groups was asked to write thank you notes and positive words, another was asked to write about their concerns, and the third group was given a neutral task.

After completing the task, the groups were exposed to stimuli that aroused the fear of death, an inevitable fear that we all suffer from.

Results showed that participants in the first group who wrote thank you notes experienced fewer fear of death symptoms than the other two groups. A review of the results showed that with an attitude of gratitude towards life, we gain acceptance and face the future without fear.

On a neurobiological level, gratitude regulates the sympathetic nervous system that activates our fear responses, and on a psychological level, it conditions the brain to filter out negative ruminations and focus on positive thoughts.

Because of their anxiety-reducing effects, gratitude practices are likewrite diaryand group discussions are now an integral part of mental health interventions and life coaching systems.

(Video) The Amazing Effects of Gratitude

Gratitude practices are particularly effective in treating phobias such as fear of death, PTSD, social phobia, and nihilism.

gratitude and sadness

“Gratitude makes sense of your past, brings peace today, and creates a vision for tomorrow”

Melodia B.

As difficult as it may seem, grieving gratitude can bring a glimmer of hope during life's darkest moments. Finding a reason to be grateful on a day of despair can seem impossible. In her book on gratitude and grief, Kelly Buckley (2017) mentioned how she found meaning in her grief and life after losing her 23-year-old son.

While it's true that practicing gratitude makes us more resistant to negative emotions and stress, there's no denying that worldly adversities are inevitable and destined to affect our well-being.

Dealing With Grief With Gratitude

1. Cry from the heart

Crying does not make us weak. Rather, it is an act of acceptance and awareness of our emotions. We cry because we know how we feel and why we feel that way. It gives air to pain and helps us change our lives.

2. Collect the fragments

Grieving with gratitude makes us appreciate the things we still have. For example, for someone who has just been laid off from their job, thanking family and friends for supporting them through the crisis can help ease the pain. By consciously acknowledging your love and support, he can be grateful and regain motivation to pursue other job opportunities.

3. Ask for help

Don't hesitate to seek professional help if all your coping mechanisms fail. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude are more willing to engage in counseling and therapy to help manage their depression, and the prognosis in these cases is much better.

4. Keep a Gratitude Jar

Keep a clear jar or box and a few pieces of paper next to it. Every day, take a piece of paper and write about one thing you are grateful for today. It could be your family, good health, loving friends, your home, or yourself for enduring so much—anything that made you feel blessed that day. As the glass fills up, you'll naturally feel more talented and hopeful.

The sadness may still be there, but you will gain strength to see beyond it.

The relationship between resilience and gratitude

Gratitude promotes adaptive coping mechanisms. By dealing with positive emotions such as contentment, happiness and pleasure, gratitude increases our emotional resilience and strengthens our inner strength to fight stress (Gloria & Steinhardt, 2016).

Psychologists Shai Davidai and Thomas Gilovich in one of theirpapers, called Headwinds/Tailwinds Asymmetry: An Availability Bias in Assessments of Barriers and Blessings (2016), mentioned that we tend to focus more on obstacles and difficulties in life because they require action. We must fight and overcome them to restore the normal flow of life.

On the other hand, we forget to worry about the good things in life because they are "already there" and we don't need to do anything to keep them with us. According to Gilovich, practicing gratitude is the best way to remind ourselves of the things that give us courage to move forward in life.

Studies on Gratitude and Resilience

A cross-sectional study published in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry found a strong positive correlation between gratitude, resilience, and happiness (McCanlies, Gu, Andrew, & Violanti, 2018).

The study was conducted on a large sample of the adult population, and statistical treatment showed that participants who felt more grateful and practiced gratitude journaling were perceived as happier and emotionally stronger than others (McCanlies, Gu, Andrew, and Violanti, 2018).

An extension study of depressed patients showed that those who practiced gratitude exercises recovered quickly and felt more motivated to recover from their distress.

Build resilience with gratitude

Many psychologists believe so.emotional resilienceis a five-component interaction (McCullough & Witvliet, 2002):

  • People Skills - The ability to stand out from others and the desire to win a situation
  • Troubleshooting - The ability to proactively focus on and respond to solutions
  • Autonomy – The motivation to exercise freedom and ask for it when needed
  • Forgiveness – The inner strength to let go of something and move on
  • Empathy - The power to feel others and see things from their perspective.

Modern research and studies indicate that there is a sixth component of emotional resilience - gratitude. Gratitude builds emotional resilience through:

  • It helps us to see the positive things in life.
  • Fight negative ruminations and build pessimistic thoughts with optimists
  • Keep your feet on the ground and accept the current situation, even if it is a harsh reality.
  • Identify and focus only on solutions
  • Maintaining good health by regulating our metabolic functions and controlling hormonal imbalances
  • Cultivate relationships and value the people who are by our side. As a result, we feel more loved, cared for, and more hopeful.

Simple Gratitude Practices to Build Emotional Resilience

1. Meditation and breath control

Of anyPracticing Gratitude with an Animated Meditationand the breath control session is a good idea. Deep breathing and steady concentration allow the mind to calm down and gather itself. You feel more relaxed and connected with yourself, and now is a good time to start practicing.

Here is a 2-minute meditation session that you can follow:

2. Gratitude List

Similar to the gratitude journal, the gratitude list helps you see your blessings face to face. Grab a pen and paper (or your portable notebook) and make a list of all the people who offered their support when you needed it most. As you write, try to look back on the days and feel the gratitude in your heart again. After making the list, look at it for 2 minutes and get back to work.

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3. Gratitude Notes

When your gratitude list is ready, start writing short thank you notes to everyone you mentioned earlier on the list. Notes can be as brief as you like, but make sure you put your feelings in them. Send the messages to the people involved - either as handwritten notes, SMS or email. Just make sure your message gets through to them and don't expect responses.

4. Remembrance Meditation

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Notice how it makes you feel more appreciative and grateful for the gift. The time travel we do with this meditation immediately exposes us to our strength - we feel more confident and gain the power to fight stress the same way we did before.

gratitude and stress

“God gave you 86,400 seconds today. Have you already thanked?”

William Arthur Ward

Stress is our body's natural response to change - be it good or bad. positive stressEustressit gives us joy and is usually the least of our worries. Unforeseen setbacks trigger negative stress or stress. We think it's poisonous and want to get rid of it.

Gratitude: A Natural Detox

Robert Emmons, a well-known mental health expert, has conducted several studies on stress and health that have shown that gratitude effectively releases stress hormones and increases positive emotions such as happiness. Committing to the daily practice of gratitude reduces a host of negative emotions and is a natural stress detox for the mind and body.

Studies have shown that people who are more grateful to Him are healthier and more resilient in life (Krause, 2006). An experiment conducted on three groups of individuals, with each team representing a specific age group, showed that older men and women were more grateful to God for their lives and scored higher on the Stress Tolerance Index than others.

(Video) How Gratitude Changes Your Brain

To break. Breathe. And appreciate.

Gratitude is not a quick fix or instant stress relief. Practicing gratitude does not mean that someday we will be happy and delighted. Gratitude challenges us to accept that we are sad and to focus on how to reduce it. We don't expect miracles when we keep a gratitude journal; we're just taking a closer look at the right things that still exist in life. The benefits of a gratitude journal are many.

By being more grateful on the inside and expressing it on the outside, we gain strength to fight and manage stress.

A Look at Depression and Gratitude

"It's impossible to be depressed and grateful at the same time."

Naomi Williams

Dr John Medina, in his bestselling Brain Rules project, mentioned how gratitude can be an eye opener in difficult times. He pointed out that by looking around and recognizing the support we have now, we can successfully shift the focus from our burdens to theirs.blessingWe have.

Depression has a psychological basis and a neurochemical basis – both can be treated through gratitude. By shifting our attention from problems to solutions, gratitude practices target serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin—neurotransmitters that make us feel good (Burton, 2020). As these chemicals build up in the brain, apathy is quelled and we revitalize the motivation that depression had sapped.

Gratitude and appreciation are associated with numerous benefits, including improved mood and self-esteem (Killen & Macaskill, 2015). Gratitude as an intervention to treat depression is practical, less time consuming, less expensive, and beneficial in the long term (Mills et al., 2015).

Gratitude Exercises to Deal with Depression

Sansone and Sansone (2010) suggested three gratitude practices that work best for depression and grief (seeGrief support techniques).

1. Gratitude Diary

As mentioned earlier, keeping a journal where you write about all the people and things in life you are grateful for can make a noticeable difference in your state of mind. We know what a gratitude journal looks like. Here are some tips for preparing and maintaining one:

  • Commit to daily practice.
  • Set aside some time (for example, early in the morning or before bed) and write your gratitude at the same time each day.
  • Go through the previous pages and remember the good things that happened to you in the past.
  • When filling in the diary, try to be as detailed as possible. Write down every little thing related to the person or incident you are offering your gratitude to.
  • Make your diary attractive. Use colored pencils, stickers, or poster board to give your gratitude journal an interesting look. Make journaling an experience rather than a daily exercise.

2. Gratitude Ratings

self-assessments likeGQ-6(McCullough, Emmons & Tsang, 2002) i gogratitude assessment(Hardy, 2010) can be a good way to gauge how grateful we feel inside. The gratitude test not only provides information about our gratitude, but it also raises awareness and shows us various ways to deal with our stress and negativity.

You can take those tooGratitude Questionnairedeveloped by Mitchel Adler and Nancy Fagley (2005), which gives an accurate estimate of what we are grateful for in life and how we can cultivate the mind to extract gratitude from the kindness we receive.

3. Gratitude Meditation

The Gratitude Meditation is a simple and grounded technique for resonating our thoughts and feelings with all the people, situations and things we are truly grateful for. Through gratitude meditation we focus on ourselves (our achievements, our talents, our feelings in the moment) and the world (our family, friends and all others who love and support us unconditionally).

It improves perspective, clears vision and relieves us from the burden of stress and burnout almost immediately.

Here is oneguided gratitude meditationExercise you can follow:

How does gratitude affect mental health?

"But I know that I have existed for a long time and now I intend to live"

Saba Tahir

Stress doesn't have to rule our lives if we regularly feel and express gratitude. There is no part of well-being untouched by gratitude, be it physical, mental, or social.

Practicing gratitude means gaining perspective on life.gratitude. By appreciating ourselves, our loved ones, nature and the Almighty, we experience the purest form of all positive emotions. It helps us to see that nothing is obvious and nothing is taken for granted - because our true joy is in the little things in life.

dr In his studies of the marked effects of gratitude on mental health, Emmons showed:

  • Gratitude practices significantly reduce heart disease, inflammation, and neurodegeneration
  • Daily journals and gratitude jars can help people struggling with depression, anxiety, and burnout
  • Writing letters of gratitude brings hope and instills positivity in suicide victims and people struggling with terminal illnesses.
  • Gratitude improves the sleep-wake cycle and improves mood. It helps people with insomnia, substance abuse and eating disorders.

A message to take home

Practicing gratitude is equivalent to expressing our feelings for others and for ourselves. Through simple words of love and praise, not only do we make others feel good, but we also feel so much better about ourselves and our lives. Gratitude is feeling right about the right things at the right time. It is closely linked to self-discipline and motivation.

It may not give us immediate relief from pain and stress, but it does put us back in control.

By recognizing and valuing our wealth, gratitude gives us responsibility for our own lives. As Robin Sharma beautifully put it:

"Gratitude makes you happy. Happiness increases productivity. Productivity reveals mastery. And mastery inspires the world."

For further reading:

  • Gratitude tree for kids (including activities + drawings)

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Do not forgetDownload our three grief exercises [PDF] for free.


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