Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this, it does mean a lot to us. In gratitude to your continued readership we, would like to show you how gratitude can benefit your health.
Gratitude strengthens relationships and sometimes even creates new ones. Being a grateful person you sleep better, you eat better and you laugh a lot more. You start to realize that life is a gift and you are grateful for it in your every waking moment.
The science behind gratitude
The Hypothalamus located in the brain is activated when we feel a sense of gratitude. The Hypothalamus is responsible for our appetite, sleep, body temperature, metabolism and growth. This part of the brain, therefore, provides for the overall wellbeing of the mind and body.
When one is grateful, the hormone dopamine is release in the body. Dopamine is a natural pain killer. Studies have shown that when people in pain practice gratitude, the dopamine effect kicks in and de-intensifies the pain, whether the pain is of the physical or mental nature.
Effect of gratitude on your mental state
It might go without saying, but gratitude reduces anxiety and any form of depression, thus, reducing the chances of stress at work and in life in general. It also increases your energy levels and vitality, leading to a stronger and fitter you.
Also, it’s said that anger and gratitude cannot coexist. This means, if you are grateful for the most part of the day, you might be less prone to anger and mood swings.
At work, gratitude can make you and your team more productive. It also helps motivate employees to do a better job with what they are doing at work. Besides, gratitude is contagious and in a workplace setting that is essential for a better work life, which, in turn, increases job satisfaction.
How can you start practicing gratitude in your life?
Create a gratitude journal.
It’s very easy and even tempting to forget all the good things in our life because we humans are wired to focus on the sadness, on the things that are not right. A gratitude journal will remind you of those good things that we tend to so easily forget.
- Set aside 5 minutes any time of the day. Most people prefer to do in the morning soon after waking up. The end of the day works perfectly fine too.
- List down the things in your life that you are happy and grateful for – It could be your parents, partner, children, friends, work, a project, a good career or health. This list revolves around the bigger and important things in your life.
- Next, list down the three things from your previous day that you are grateful for – An unexpected help from your colleague, a word of appreciation from your boss or something that your child said to you. This list will help you live in the moment and find happiness even in the smallest of things.
Everyday revisit the entries from the previous day. Then, make the journey entries for that day. Check if you’d like to add/remove any item on the first list.
This activity will motivate you to see the things around you in a different light. You’ll find yourself looking for situations that can probably go in your next day’s journal entry. This means, you’d automatically start looking for the positive things around you. You’ll also remember throughout the day all the good things that you’re grateful for in your life!