- Positive emotions fill our brain with dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals make us feel good and increase our ability to learn. They help us process new information, keep that information in the brain longer, and remember it faster later on.
- Feeling happy improves our ability to perform tasks and solve problems.
- We feel better when we think happy thoughts. People who are grateful are more energetic and emotionally intelligent.
Gratitude is powerful!
Many years ago, I decided to try out this gratitude thing. It sounded good, but I always test things on myself to see if they work, before I share them with my clients. After 2-4 weeks of a daily gratitude practice, I noticed I started feeling spontaneously grateful throughout the day. It actually caught me by surprise! I could tell my neural pathways were being built and strengthened.
What’s the best way to practice gratitude?
Here are two simple exercises you can do to help retrain your brain into grateful thinking:
- Spend 30 seconds just FEELING gratitude. Pay attention to what is happening in your body. Do you feel your chest expanding? Do you feel it becoming bigger and warmer? Do you notice a change in your breathing? There is no right way to feel gratitude. Just notice how it feels in your body.
- List 3 things for which you are grateful. Feel true gratitude for what you listed. Some people prefer lists, either written or spoken aloud. It can include the same things over and over again, or it can be as varied as you’d like.
- Are you hard on yourself?
- Do you worry about being judged by others?
- Do you always judge your results as not good enough, no matter how hard you worked?
- Do you want to be a better person?