In addition to diets, we all know the basic formula for improving physical health: eating less waste and exercising more. The same thing applies to more luck. Of course, mental health is extremely complex, but research to promote basic daily well-being can not be clearer: you just need to cultivate gratitude.
“It’s so easy to write three things that you’re grateful for 21 days in a row that increases your optimism.The same is true for the next six months.The research is amazing,” said Harvard, researcher and author. Shawn Achor told Inc.com. Other studies show that gratitude increases the willpower, calms and even boosts employee morale.
All of this is both interesting and useful, but raises the question: why is it so important to pay attention to the good things in your life? A new brain imaging study has examined this issue with fascinating results.
For the study, a team of researchers from Indiana University, led by Prathik Kini, recruited 43 subjects suffering from anxiety or depression. Half of this group received a simple gratitude exercise – writing letters to people in their lives – and three months later, the 43 brain exams were submitted.
During these brain exams, the subjects took part in a gratitude task, where they learned that a benefactor had given them a sum of money and asked them if they wanted to donate some of the money. as a charity to express their gratitude. Those who gave money showed a certain pattern of activity in the brain, but it was not the most interesting part of the results.
It was what? Participants who had completed the task of gratitude a few months ago not only indicated that they felt more gratitude than the control group members two weeks after the task, but they also showed more grateful brain activity in the group. the scan several months later, and “lasting” neuronal effects as “particularly remarkable,” says psychology writer Christian Jarrett in the Science of Us blog.
The result is interesting for neuroscientists, but it can also be useful to the rest of us. This “suggests that the more you feel and express the gratitude of your brain, the more it adapts to this way of thinking – you might even think that your brain has some kind of gratitude muscle that can be trained and strengthened if you try to be thankful one day, the more you will spontaneously come to you in the future. ”
In short, the practice of gratitude seems to trigger a healthy and autonomous cycle in your brain – counting your blessing now facilitates recognition and subsequent recognition. And the more you see good things in your life, the happier and happier you will be.
Or, as Jarrett sums up the research: “The more you practice gratitude, the more you are prepared for it and the more you will enjoy its psychological benefits.”
What do you have to be grateful for today?
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