THE SURPRISING BENEFITS OF BEING GRATEFUL
– THE BENEFIT –
Gratitude Is Good For Your Brain!
For those of us who missed that Monday’s biology class; the hypothalamus is a part of our brain that regulates a wide array of bodily functions including our appetite, sleep and growth.
In 2009, Researchers at the National Institute of Health found that subjects who showed more gratitude overall had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus.
This is important because the hypothalamus also has a significant influence on your metabolism and stress levels. From this evidence on brain activity it starts to become clear how improvements in gratitude could have wide-ranging effects on increased exercise and improved sleep to decreased depression and fewer aches and pains.
Further, acts of kindness and feelings of gratitude flood our brains with dopamine – a chemical that plays a significant role in how we experience pleasure. When we are truly grateful our brains reward us by giving us a natural high. Because this feeling is so good, we can be motivated to feel it again! and so a positive feedback cycle begins!
In this series of posts running to the end of December I explore little facts on the benefits of gratitude. I also invite you to record any moments of gratitude in your day with our confidential gratitude bot. Scroll down to find out more.