'Thank you' just a two-letter word that can make a huge difference in your lives. And for this, there is scientific evidence to back the claim that proves how gratitude can change your brain, make you happier boost your immune system, improve your relationships, and make you more productive.
In research by UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, being grateful regularly changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the grey matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier.
Researchers found that gratitude causes synchronized activation in multiple brain regions, and lights up parts of the brain’s reward pathways and the hypothalamus. In short, just like Prozac, gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine.
Further, just thinking of being grateful sparks brain activity critical to sleep, mood regulation and metabolism. That surely is beneficial. And the more you do it the easier it gets!
You must be thinking about how to practice gratitude. Here are some ways you can start with:
- Keep a journal maintaining all that you are grateful for.
- Appreciate an employee or anyone close to you.
- Look into the mirror and remind yourself of something that you like about yourself.
- Sit at a quiet place and think of the good times. Practise this every week.
- Don't get bogged down when something bad happens. Instead, think of the good times that have happened as a result of this event.
- Write someone a thank you note - on paper or mail, whatever you feel comfortable in.