HOW GRATITUDE CHANGES YOUR BRAIN

Many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed. 

Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. Brain can not focus on negative aspects while practicing gratitude. 

Therefore, repeating gratitude affirmation during the day, overlaps negative impulses and refocuses thought patterns into positive direction. 

There is a phenomenon that happens as we age called Synaptic Pruning. Synapses are connections between the neurons in your brain. The basic idea is that your brain prunes away connections between neurons that don't get used and builds up connections that get used more frequently.

For example, if you practice playing the guitar for 6 months, then your brain will strengthen the connections between those musical neurons. The more you play, the stronger the connections become. Not only that, the connections become faster and more efficient each time you practice. As your brain builds stronger and faster connections between neurons, you can express your skills with more ease and expertise. It is a biological change that leads to skill development.

Synaptic pruning occurs with every habit you build. Your brain builds a strong network of neurons to support your current behaviors. The more you do something, the stronger and more efficient the connection becomes. You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits.

How?

When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behavior to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called Habit Stacking.

Drinking water is one the main habits that is inbuilt as part of our biology. Stacking the habit of “Thank you” while drinking water, will start creating new synaptic connections that will grow stronger day by day. 

More thankful you feel, more seratonine neurotransmitters will be released in your system, causing mood elevation and overall wellbeing. 

 

To find out more please check out following links from Harvard Medical School and James Clear 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

https://jamesclear.com/habit-stacking