Gratitude is key to happiness

Gratitude Gratitude is a way to focus on the good things of life. Practicing daily gratitude will help you see the positive, even in the darkest hours.

Gratitude doesn’t have to be something material. Psychologists describe it as a positive emotional response that we encounter on giving or receiving something from someone. Emmons & McCullough said that “gratitude is associated with a personal benefit that was not intentionally sought after, deserved, or earned but rather because of the good intentions of another person”.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melodie Beattie.

You can be grateful towards others, such as friends, family, colleagues, yourself, Mother Nature, or even the Almighty. And you can be grateful for anything that makes you vibrate: the air you breath, the smell of the freshly cut grass in your garden, having your loved ones next to you, having a roof over your head, being able to eat an apple, to walk, to watch the movies you want, to share a meal with friends, to push yourself into an action, to have a productive day... everything is subject to gratitude. If you focus on the good, you will only see the good in the future. And when we only see the good in everything and everyone, happiness comes to get us.

For some it’s hard to understand what is being written but give it a try. Try for a minimum of 21 days, as it is said, a habit can be obtained on a journey of 21 days. Compare your way of thinking on day 1, day 7, day 14 and day 21. You will see your mind will switch little by little into a positive mode. At first, it will be difficult to find your gratitudes, but time will heal you, and bring you to the path of positivity and happiness.

Is there any benefits in practicing daily gratitude?

Yes, there is. As previously explained, gratitude will make your brain to switch from a negative approach to a positive one. And not only you will see the difference on the outside, things will happen inside your body, especially in one area: your brain.

Gratitude increases the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter used by your nervous system to send messages between nerve cells. It plays a role in how we feel pleasure and helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.

Gratitude wires and fires neural connections and fosters cognitive reconstruction.

Gratitude increases the quality and duration of your sleep. By thinking positively, you will stop focusing on the negative things, fulfil yourself with the positive things that happen in your life, and you will free your mind from worries. Without worries, the little fairies can come and get you for a good night sleep with sweet dreams.

Gratitude decreases cortisol production. Cortisol is often named as the “stress hormone” as it’s the fight-or-flight response of our body that keeps us away from danger. It’s released when the body is experiencing stress. Cortisol is important for your body to function normally, but too much cortisol can be bad for your health.

Gratitude stimulates the vagus nerve. The vagus is the 10th cranial nerve that extends directly from the brain. It carries information between the brain and the internal organs and controlling the body’s response in times of rest and relaxation. The large nerve originates in the brain and branches out in multiple directions to the neck and provides the primary control of the nervous system’s parasympathetic response. If your body isn’t under stress, it sends commands that slow heart and breathing rates and increase digestion. When you experience stress, it shifts to the sympathetic system and produces the opposite effects. There are more and more research about the vagus as it might be the key to complete happiness.

There are more and more benefits from practicing gratitude, and you will experience them by yourself. If you would like to practice daily gratitude, MCFRASER LONDON has published Find Your Happiness with Daily Gratitude: Gratitude Journal, available on Amazon.

I hope you learnt something from this article. Feel free to read more in our blog section and practice with our free meditations on this website, our YouTube Channel, and on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

And as always, Be Kind To One Another, Including Yourself.

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