Many therapists and life coaches agree that practicing gratitude is beneficial to mental health. Several studies have proven the benefits of this practice as well, from improving love lives to promoting a sense of well-being. Below is a brief overview of the positive effects of gratitude on both the mind and the body, as well as ways to effectively incorporate this practice into your life.
How Does Gratitude Affect the Brain?
Thankfulness has such a significant impact on the way that we feel because it can change the way our brain functions. Several studies have shown that it increases activity in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that controls essential body functions such as sleeping, eating, hormone production, and metabolism. Gratitude also fires up the brain’s reward pathways and boosts its production of dopamine, which is another reason why life coaches find the practice to be such an effective tool for pursuing happiness.
How Does It Affect Social Connections?
Saying thank you is a polite gesture, but it may also be essential for making new friends. A study from 2014 found that when a person is thanked by a new acquaintance, they are more likely to want to pursue an ongoing relationship with them. Other research suggests that gratitude has a profound effect on interpersonal relationships because it involves thinking about and interacting with others.
How Can You Practice Gratitude?
There are many ways to practice gratitude in a day, from sending a thank you note to calling your mom to tell her you love her. To get the most out of the benefits listed above, incorporate daily feelings of gratitude into your routine. You can keep a journal and write down three things you are grateful for each morning. You can also meditate, talk to a life coach, or enjoy a long walk with your dog.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of incorporating gratitude into your life, contact Audrey Berger of Turning Point Life Coaching in Rochester, NY. For close to 40 years, this seasoned psychologist and life coach has been helping clients in Monroe County find happiness and improve their lives through in-person, online, or over-the-phone counseling sessions. Visit the website to learn more about her practice, and call (585) 292-0095 to schedule an appointment today.