Benefit: Increases positive thoughts
Scientists found that gratitude stimulates the pathways in your brain involved in feelings of reward,forming social bonds and interpreting others’ intentions.
It also makes it easier to save and retrieve positive memories.
Even more, gratitude directly counteracts negative feelings and traits like envy and social comparison, narcissism, cynicism and materialism.
As a consequence, people who are grateful no matter what for tend to be happier and more satisfied.
They have better relationships, an easier time making friends,they sleep better, tend to suffer less from depression, addiction, and burnout and are better at dealing with traumatic events.
In a way, gratitude makes it less likely that you’ll fall into one of the psychological traps modern life has set for you.
For example, gratitude measurably counters the tendency to forget and downplay positive events. If you work long and hard for something, actually getting it can feel daft and empty. You can find yourself emotionally back where you started and try to achieve the next biggest thing, looking for that satisfaction instead of being satisfied with yourself.
Or imagine being lonely and wanting to have more friends. You actually might have someone or even multiple people who want to hangout, but you might feel that this is not enough, that you’re a loser and feel bad about yourself. So you might turn down their attempts to hangout and become more lonely.
If you feel grateful for your relationships instead, you might accept invitations, or even take the initiative. The more often you risk opening up, the higher the chance of solidifying relationships and meeting new people.
In the best case, gratitude can trigger a feedback loop. Positive feelings lead to more prosocial behavior, which leads to more positive social experiences that cause more positive feelings. This is a common experience after serious hardship like chemotherapy, for example.
Life can feel amazing after a crisis is over. The smallest things can be bottomless sources of joy, from being able to taste, to just sitting in the sun, or chatting with a friend.
Every morning write 3 different sentences on what you are grateful for.
You can use the following 4 items to guide you;
- An old relationship that really helped you
- An opportunity that you have today
- Something great that happened or you saw yesterday
- A simple thing near you (having tap water, the pen you are holding, etc)
- Good colleagues
- Some time alone to relax & chill
- To be alive
- To have someone who loves me
- To have someone who I love
- My laptop
- For all this food
- For my health
- A warm bed
- The person who sent me this
- For hating someone – I can feel hate 🙂