BRAIN FACT + ‘TUDE TIP
I’m sure you’ve come across a myriad of sayings and social posts that promote the benefits of an attitude of gratitude. But how does an attitude of grati-tude really improve your day?
Well, it’s a scientific phenomenon that happens inside your amazing brain. Gratitude is a form of expressing happiness. Happiness causes your neurological system to release dopamine and serotonin. According to Positive Psychology, “these are 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.”
The multiple benefits of Grati-Tude
Grati-tude has many benefits:
- Releases toxic emotions
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Reduces pain*
- Improves the quality of sleep
- Improves relationships
- Assists you in managing stress
- Greater overall well being
Daily Grati-Tude Practice for little peeps
To help my daughter focus on positive thoughts and balance the naturally occurring negativity bias by building up her positive synapses, I got her to decorate a little box. This box is her “Good Vibes + Grati-Tude” box.
Each night before she gets into bed, she writes three things that went well in her day or she is grateful for and puts the notes in the box.
If she happens to be feeling anxious or down about anything, she opens the box and reads the notes. This starts the chemical response in her brain to release the happy hormones, which makes her feel better.
Daily Grati-Tude Practice for parents
A simple way to start a daily gratitude practice is by downloading an app on your phone and setting up a recurring notification. I recently tested three different Gratitude apps:
- Happyfeed: available for Android and Apple devices – basic functions on the free version. Includes a vision board function. Has a handy reminder function.
- 3 Good Things: one of the original apps, available for Android and Apple devices. Very basic. Simply record three good things that happened in your day each day.
The one I liked the most is:
- Gratitude App: Available for Android and Apple devices. It has handy reminders and hints if you’re struggling to find something. You can upload images. There is a 7-day challenge. Affirmations (theirs or curate your own), Daily Zen quotes of the day and a Vision Board function. It’s very easy to use and the free version has generous functionality.