The Power of Gratitude
We've been hearing more about the power of gratitude than ever before and perhaps, we need the power of gratitude more now than ever before.
But what is gratitude and why does it have "power"?
By definition, gratitude is the expression of thankfulness. Digging a little deeper, gratitude is also the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Gratitude is considered one of our most powerful positive emotions and by taking the time to focus on the things that are good, or what we are most thankful for in our lives, we feel better. Gratitude takes some practice, but you can start by simply pausing to think about the simple things we might take for granted daily, like breathing.
Ask yourself, when is the last time you thought about being thankful for the breath you're taking?
Gratitude can absolutely, scientifically, change your brain and it perpetuates positively as you practice! When you express kindness or gratitude, your hypothalamus floods your brain with dopamine. Dopamine is a natural " high" that once signaled in your brain motivates you to do good (like volunteering) and express even more gratitude. It literally picks up speed and you'll find endless things to be grateful for the more you practice! That's right, it's a gift that keeps on giving!
As you begin to focus on the good things in your life, your brain rewires to stay on that positive track. You can literally rewire your own brain!
Gratitude has been proven to provide better you with more mental strength, more joy and better physical health ( without even having to jog).
In fact, practicing gratitude has been linked to better sleep, less aggression, less aches and pains and higher self esteem and these are just the bonuses!
You can start right now, just by focusing on gratitude for the breath you are taking while reading this ...deep breath in, exhale slowly out. Now move on to being thankful for your eyes that can read or your ears that can hear... now your hands that can feel.
With practice, it will take no time to name hundreds of things you are grateful for, even if today you just start with one thing, your breath. Another way to start on a gratitude journey is to start writing down the things you are most grateful daily, just know you'll need a lot of ink in your pen as you begin to practice the habit of being grateful in writing. Your list has been proven to just keep getting bigger.
That's the "power" of gratitude.