Did you know that by the simple practice of gratitude you could rewire your brain and thus impact your quality of life in many ways? Recent studies have begun to uncover the positive effects on the body of high levels of this practice. A recent study (Ng et al, 2012) found that “higher levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep, and with lower anxiety and depression.” And, National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers (Zahn et al,2009) asked subjects to recall feelings of gratitude while the researchers tracked blood flow to the brain. In those who expressing more gratitude, the hypothalamus showed higher levels of activity. The bodily functions that the hypothalamus controls (such as sleeping and eating) greatly influence your stress levels and metabolism.
Give a simple gratitude practice a try today! Write, express, or think about people and experiences of which you are grateful. Remember to include positive attributes about yourself in the mix. In the process your brain will be altered in supportive ways and your quality of life is sure to improve.