When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
By consciously practicing gratitude every day, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.
The benefits of living in gratitude include better sleep wake cycles which strengthen the immune system decreasing aches and pains of the physical body relieving stress and allowing us to experience more enjoyment from life.
Expressions of gratitude help in building and sustaining long term relationships and allow us to bounce back quicker from life’s challenges. Gratitude is positively correlated to more vitality, energy, and enthusiasm allowing us to live longer and live with more purpose.
Listed below are simple techniques to help you live a life of gratitude.
- Nightly Notes of Gratitude.
Writing down one positive thing that happened in your day every night before you close your eyes can release toxic thoughts and promote calmer less fitful sleep. Place your positive memories in a jar or a box where you can read them whenever you are feeling low to help boost your mood. I take this practice one step further and include my family in gratitude note writing. Once a week, usually on a Sunday evening, my entire family writes down one thing they are grateful for that happened during the past week. We collect these gratitude notes over the entire year and read them together as a family on the first day of the new year. Not only does this practice help all of us to feel better about our week, even if it has been a tough one, but we start our new year out with an attitude of gratitude as we read all the positive things that we experienced from the past year.
- Morning gratitude.
Every morning when I open my eyes, the first thing I say is, “Thank you for this day.” “I am so grateful for my life.” Starting your day in a state of gratitude makes it much easier to stay with that feeling as your day continues and becomes more challenging.
- Nature walks.
Go outside and let nature’s beauty soothe you. Whenever I feel frustrated, stuck, angry or just depressed I wander outside for a walk. Getting out of your current environment and feeling the sun on your face or the wind on your cheeks or even the rain on your head has been proven to decrease your cortisol levels and increase a calmer more grateful outlook, which reduces stress. If you can’t get outside into a natural environment try to put plants around your living space or utilize natural scents to remind you of nature and listen to soothing sounds of birds singing or the ocean tide.
- Affirmations of love and support.
Write down affirmations of love and courage to yourself and stick them to your mirror, refrigerator, and computer. I write simple things such as, “You got this.” “Thank you for being you.” Or “You are enough.”
- Say thank you and wish happiness to everyone and yourself.
I say thank you to myself and others multiple times a day which spreads joy and the feeling of happiness and gratitude. When I speak with someone or even just pass someone, I say to myself, “I wish that person happiness and joy.” Try this even one time a day and notice the positive effect it has on your mood.
- Intention setting with crystals, meditation and prayer
Calm your mind with meditation and prayer and decide exactly what you would like to manifest in your life by remembering all the things you already have. If you come from a place of, want, then you will never have enough, but if you are grateful for what you already have, setting your intentions will be more successful and easier for you to manifest not only physical items but a balanced mind, body and soul.