Gratitude for a Better Brain

I’ve often said that if I had a religion, it would be gratitude. These days I activate and maintain my gratitude through time in nature and with loved ones. Although the science behind gratitude is still in its infancy, the research so far is promising for our brains and our behavior.

For one thing, studies show that practicing gratitude can result in improved well-being and lowered depression, effects that persist after the gratitude exercises have been completed.

More recent research provides insights about why gratitude works: feeling grateful wires the brain to continue to feel grateful. Gratitude seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Being grateful stimulates the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex in the brain, which is also associated with “moral cognition and positive emotion that accompanies the experience of benefitting from the goodwill of others.”

Wait, it gets better. Gratitude expands its self-perpetuating nature beyond your brain and into the realm of giving to others. Research suggests that people who feel grateful are more likely to assist strangers, and give to others, even if giving is costly.

Find out how grateful you are using this quick quiz (I scored 90, so I still have room to grow), and practice more gratitude to enhance your leadership and positive impact on the world!

Practicing gratitude promotes wellness, reduces stress, and encourages our capacity to give to others.

Practicing gratitude promotes wellness, reduces stress, and encourages our capacity to give to others.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *