EP27: Gratitude Can Change Your Brain

Winning with Wellness

Oct 26 2021 • 15 mins

Practicing gratitude is something so simple yet so powerful and impactful to our overall health and wellbeing. UCLAs Mindfulness Awareness Research Center proved that gratitude changes our brain, specifically the gray matter of our brain. The gray matter is made up of the cell bodies of nerve cells which functions as an information processor. When the gray matter is able to process thoughts such as gratitude, it leads to a healthier and happier brain. More so, Chinese researchers found that high levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep and lower levels of anxiety and depression. A study at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley revealed that people who wrote their gratitude letters have a higher active function in their prefrontal cortex as shown in their brain scans.  One of the best tools we can use for our overall health is a gratitude practice. This practice is something that could help us potentially heal and become the healthiest version of ourselves. When we say healing, it is not just healing our physical selves but also acknowledging other areas of our mind, body and soul. More than that, gratitude does not only affect our own beings but also our relationships. With gratitude people actually feel connected and in touch with experiences especially when they acknowledge the things they have instead of the things they do not have. In this way, we become less materialistic because we acknowledge what is actually filling us up throughout the day. Doing a gratitude practice can range from being thankful for one thing, 10 things or more. It is suggested that you write what you are grateful for but in some cases if you are not fond of writing, at least say them in your mind. The things you are grateful for do not need to be massive major events or difficult ones, it can be as simple as saying thank you to someone for opening the door..   Wellness Nuggets: ●       Some of the things that you can expect from a gratitude practice are a positive mindset, decreased stress, decreased anxiety and depression symptoms, and etc. ●       Journal about your gratitude to celebrate your wins no matter how small or big they are. ●       Share your gratitude to the people around you. If you’re showing your gratitude, you’re going to experience the same thing and vice versa which will create a domino effect. ●       Have an accountability partner to stay on track and build your practices into a habit. ●       Start small. Practice gratitude, a week, then a month until it becomes part of your lifestyle.   We invite you to ignite the Wellness Warrior in YOU!