Did you know that simply acknowledging the wins in our day, however small they may be, improves our health and wellbeing?
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has endless benefits for our bodies, minds and relationships with others.
Research shows that gratitude regulates stress, reduces anxiety and depression, reduces pain symptoms, improves sleep quality and builds emotional resilience. It promotes more vitality, energy and enthusiasm to be more productive.
Leadership expert and best selling author, Robin Sharma, describes the upward spiral created by a regular gratitude practice saying, “Gratitude drives happiness. Happiness boosts productivity. Productivity reveals mastery. And mastery inspires the world”. Our ancient brain (the limbic system) is responsible for keeping us safe by alerting us to the dangers around us. It’s not particularly interested in the positive stuff that’s going on but far more concerned about letting us know what’s bad. This built-in negativity bias has us feeling anxious even when things are okay, it focuses on what’s missing and it prevents us from enjoying what we actually do have.
By consciously looking out for and acknowledging the wins in our day and expressing gratitude for what we have, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters) responsible for our ‘feel good’ emotions. So practising gratitude every day wires and fires new neural pathways to reduce that negativity bias and create more permanent feelings of positivity and happiness.
Keeping a daily gratitude journal and/or sharing a list of things that we’re grateful for each day with loved ones can be a simple way for us to kick start this scientifically proven win for our wellbeing.
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