How Being Grateful Rewires Your Brain

1,683 Views Updated: 31 Jul 2018
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How Being Grateful Rewires Your Brain

Our minds are conditioned in such a manner by the current unfortunate happenings and also the society that we quickly fall prey to the negative inclinations. These ultimately become an integral home base and gradually we tend to keep reviving the unpleasant memories more than better ones. We tend to keep clinging on to those nasty comments someone passed rather than the compliments that our supervisors gave. But what we do forget and do not even realize with time is that this kind of structuring has been paid to us for our protection yet we make the brain perform oppositely.

Therefore, now is the time to rewire our brains. But is it that easy? If it was, wouldn’t everyone else be on top of the world? How do we inculcate straightforward and achievable approaches to rewire the brain for functioning positively and even let the body feel resolute? 

The answer is straightforward - understand and adopt the habit of Expressing Gratitude!

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What is Gratitude and what does it mean to Express Gratitude?

Gratitude is a simple practice that helps in reconstructing the life. It modifies how our brain is currently working. It triggers only positive effects. It leads to genuine, long-lasting and noteworthy effects.

Expressing gratitude and the feeling of gratitude mean 'to take out one moment each day to focus on the positivity present in life.' With practice, when you concentrate every day only on the good things those become your important moments. It's kind of a Thanksgiving exercise where you take in the goodness of reality and let that keep going.

The Concept of Rewire

The whole idea of rewiring your brain through expressing gratitude is simple - a sound & healthy mind equal to a healthy body! Kindness towards yourself and for what you have lifts your spirits and warms the hearts. Try it once, and you will reap the benefits. Maintain a journal, pray or simply meditate and count your blessings. Appreciate what you have and regard even the smallest blessing as the greatest one.

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And it is rightly said, mental health is complicated but to make things clear one just needs to cultivate the attitude of expressing gratitude. It also helps in promoting the overall well-being of an individual.

However, no matter what your method is, simply take the time to thank. Do not wait for the urge to hit but hit on to bring out such an urge. However, how does the practice work for the mind as well as the body? Let's find out now.

#1. You Sleep Better

Several types of research and scientific studies show how being grateful yields positive results! It positively affects the most important routine of any human being - Sleep. 

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When we are less occupied by worries about what we do not have and are more focused and satisfied with what we have, it helps us sleep better, sleep faster and sleep for long & undisturbed durations.

#2. Release Stress

When we sleep better, it naturally calms our entire working. The whole personal and professional load that we carry throughout the day gets channelized through our thoughts and strain us lesser.

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When we accustom ourselves in a particular way to rewire our brain and cultivate appreciation rather than adopting negativity, it increases our chances of decreasing the stress and tension levels.

#3. Relieve Depression

Expressing gratitude in one or the other way makes our happiness levels last much longer than they would while we crib about what we do not have or cannot achieve. A study conducted in the year 2005 concludes how keeping a gratitude journal reduces depression by more than 30%. 

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Another study by the Chinese researchers in the year 2012 noticed how gratitude leaves profound effects on sleep. And it all relates with sleeping better leading to reduced levels of anxiety, stress, and depression.

#4. Increase Vitality

With all that mentioned above, is it even a surprise anymore that gratitude makes us much stronger than we think we are. Thankful people are more relaxed, less stressed, healthier and high on optimism. 

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According to a Spiritual Study, better sleeping patterns make our immunity stronger, and hearts get healthier due to lesser stress. All of this results in a powerful boost of vitality on the mind and body.

#5. Alleviate Physical Pains

Yes, a simple habit of saying thank you does hold the power of relieving even your physical pains. Though it's hard to believe, yet it's true. 

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Counting Blessings vs. Burdens, a 2003 study shows how ill patients were asked to maintain a gratitude journal and 16% of which showed visible improvements. The subjects felt far more motivated and recovered faster.

#6. Better Brain Activity

Let's take you several years back where you learned in biology classes about how our brain is responsible for regulating some bodily functions like sleep, appetite, and metabolism along with letting us perform acts of kindness. This meant that a human being cannot operate without grace, as a 2009 National Institutes of Health study also mentions how activated hypothalamus helps us to be kind.

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So the more you suggest your brain feel the positivity of gratitude the more it adapts to this mindset. Trick your brain into assuming appreciation as a muscle which needs to be exercised every day and be encouraged. The more you work in this direction, the more you'll witness natural feelings of gratitude in future.

In the end, what matters is being grateful for all your blessings that certainly sets up a chain of positive reactions eventually igniting the benefits provided to your mind, body, and soul. Even if you are under dark and extreme situations, do not feel less thankful, You never know perhaps that feeling is because you aren't thankful enough! Start small but at least initiate the habit of being grateful. Add more kindness and not excuses!

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