Gratitude, Your Key To Better Mental Health: Learn How!
Gratitude is a word we frequently hear in our daily lives. However, when someone asks us to explain it, we find ourselves at a loss of words. Gratitude refers to a feeling of happiness, thankfulness, and appreciation. A typical example of gratitude is to say “thank you” for even the smallest things in our lives. When you adopt a lifestyle of gratitude, you experience a change in your perspective. It is your choice to focus on what you have or what could have been. Find out how gratitude is the key to better mental health and how it affects you.
Betterment in the dopamine circuits
When you experience gratitude, your brain produces increased dopamine. For those who do not know, dopamine is also known as a “feel good” neurotransmitter. It is a pleasure-seeking circuit of the brain. It has been scientifically proven that if someone has low dopamine levels, then there is a high chance of impaired memory and slow thinking. Lack of dopamine may also cause depression and loss of motivation. Gratitude activates dopamine and allows enhanced social interactions.
Instant serotonin boost
Another powerful effect of gratitude is that it boosts serotonin. When you are thankful for the little things in life, you automatically start focusing on the good and positive aspects. This leads to serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex. Thinking of any sad event can lessen your serotonin. Gratitude has a two-fold effect on the brain. It not only increases serotonin but also helps you overlook an upsetting occasion.
Changes in your neural expression
There are innumerable things that go on in our minds. Everyone has positive experiences, as well as negative ones. However, what matters is what you choose to focus on. When you express gratitude, it has been noted that counseling has improved effects on the brain. Negative thoughts should be kept at bay. There are four distinct ways in which gratitude can alter your thinking patterns.
Four ways gratitude alters thinking patterns
- Gratitude helps those who are not good at expressing themselves. You tend to remain happier when you become optimistic.
- Gratitude may take a while to develop. It may take weeks for it to show effects. You can start by making a list of things that have made you happy in a day. Gradually, this list will increase.
- Your brain is nothing less than a feedback loop. Positive emotions lead to more positivity. Thus, you have the ultimate power to train your brain how to think.
- Gratitude has the power to change your outlook. This is noticeable by not just you but everyone around.
Some quick tricks to improve gratitude
- Smile more and say, “thank you.”
- Focus on how the five senses work. Embrace everything around you. Nature can have magnificent effects.
- At the end of each day, write three things you are thankful for.
- Think about someone you are grateful to have in your life.
- Meditate daily.
These few things will help you achieve better mental health. By showing gratitude, you can not only make others happy but also stay satisfied. Gratitude is a wonderful feeling, and it builds inner peace. Never let it go!