Gratitude is awesome.
The benefits of gratitude
start with my dopamine system,
because feeling grateful activates my brain stem region
that produces dopamine.
gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits,
which makes my social interactions more enjoyable.
Know what Prozac does?
It increases the neurotransmitter serotonin.
So does gratitude.
Trying to think of things I am grateful for
forces me to focus on the positive aspects of my life.
This simple act increases serotonin production
in my anterior cingulate cortex.
Sometimes, life lands a really mean punch in the gut
and it feels like there's nothing to be grateful for.
I don't have to find anything.
It's the searching that counts.
It's not finding gratitude that matters most;
it's remembering to look in the first place.
Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence.
With higher emotional intelligence,
it simply takes less effort to be grateful.
And gratitude doesn't just make my brain happy;
it can also create a positive feedback loop in my relationships.
So I express that gratitude to the people I care about.