The Life Changing Abilities of Gratitude

How much do you use gratitude? How often do you practice it? Are you ready to take that practice to the next level? 

Gratitude may be a feeling, emotion, mood or personality trait. Maybe it is some of all of them. It really doesn’t matter. Science is proving gratitude to be a great tool and eliciting greater satisfaction and overall happiness. Some of the things that research shows improved by gratitude are sleep and relaxation, relationships, emotional wellness and resiliency, and your mental and physical health. Let’s start with a quote by Socrates.”The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. So how does gratitude work in our brain? Research suggests that gratitude works satisfactory for functioning people as well as for those with mental health concerns? Gratitude is believed to unshackle us from destructive emotions by shifting one’s attention. Gratitude benefits work over time. They are not a “quick fix.” It is not that you write about things you are grateful for and then you feel better in that moment. No if you write over and over after a couple of weeks you will notice a difference. But the good news is that because it is not immediate it has more long term effects. Gratitude makes changes to the brain that can be measured with an MRI. Gratitude lights up the brain’s reward pathways and boosts serotonin and produces dopamine just like Prozac. Gratitude goes hand in hand with optimism. Practicing gratitude makes you happier, healthier and more productive. 

What is required to get these benefits? It doesn’t take much. to start, according to  Dr Alex Korb just the act of “seeking” for items to be grateful for can produce the benefit. You can spend time just looking for things to be grateful for and get full credit. I mean how many of you would show up at work, think about what you are supposed to do and expect to get full credit. Most of the time action is required to get the benefit. But with gratitude you don’t need to actually come up with anything. As long as you are seeking for it you get full credit. How awesome is that? Now this can be difficult to come up with things you are grateful for to begin with but you don’t have to actually come up with any, making the attempt is enough. As you seek for things you can be grateful for you will find that the more you do it the easier it becomes. So seeking for things to be grateful for is all that is required to get the benefit.

Today we are talking about gratitude and the differences that it causes in the brain. The practice of gratitude elicits satisfaction, happiness, greater relaxation, and better relationships. Continual practice of gratitude changes the function and the connection in the brain. It changes the firing patterns and boosts serotonin and produces dopamine. And all that is required is that you seek to find things to be grateful for.

Some of the ways to practice gratitude are to keep a gratitude journal or write letters of gratitude to people. Gratitude journals are an amazing gift. They give to you when you write them and then when you read them later. Writing letters of gratitude or thank you’s notes improves both yours and the receiver’s state of mind. Writing your thoughts of gratitude are a wonderful way of experiencing them. You can also verbally share with others what you appreciate about them. This will make deep long lasting friends. People love to hear good things about themselves and it will make a huge difference in their lives. Look at yourself  in the mirror and remark about something you like about you. Be sure to look yourself in the eye and mean it. It will help you change your thought patterns. Spend time meditating on the experience you had when something went well. Get to know that feeling and practice it each day. Your mind will take that experience you are visualizing and treat it as real and happening each time you replay it. These are some great ways to practice gratitude.

Maybe these ideas on how to feel gratitude are not enough for you. Maybe you need someone to hold you accountable to act on these ideas. It could be that you have heard of each one of these before and yet never acted on them. You have the knowledge to change your life but yet you are still in the same place. This reminds me of a story of a traveling salesman who walks up to this house and starts talking to the owner. They are talking for quite a while all the time there is this old hound laying on the porch howling over and over. The salesman finally asks the person why is your dog howling. Well says the person the dog is laying on the porch where a nail is sticking through the floorboard. The salesman asks why doesn’t the dog move? The owner says I guess it doesn’t hurt that much. How often do you lay around whining, it could be because of where you are, what has happened to you, or what someone has done to you. You do not get over or move off of the nail. But just lay there whining that you are hurt. I mean this is so prevalent. I have experienced this twice with people I’ve been talking to in the last 2 days. So if you need help integrating this into your life contact me at calendly.com/kenn-gerber/introduction-call

In our next podcast we will be talking about The Perfect Way to Find your Value so we will talk with you then.

I want each of you to know I appreciate each and everyone of you. I’m grateful that you are spending your time with me today so we can develop this friendship. You mean a lot to me and I am glad you are here. I know you have overcome some really tough things to get here. Now I have the most amazing fans and I want to make this better for you. But I need your feedback to tell me what I am doing well and what I can do better? Please text me  at 801-6093346 or to set up a time to talk with me at calendly.com/kenn-gerber/introduction-call to let me know how to improve. I want you to have your amazing life!

Leave a Reply