How Being Grateful Year Round Can Impact Your Mood
When you bring your attention to the things you are grateful for in life, your brain actually works better. Research shows that people are healthier, more optimistic, make progress towards their goals, have a greater sense of well-being, and are helpful to others.
In a world filled with stress, assaults, and unhealthy choices you can be at your best when you start each day by taking a few minutes to focus your intention, especially in the areas of gratitude, appreciation, health, and productivity.
The Proof is in the SPECT Scan
In fact, psychologist Noelle Nelson and Dr. Daniel Amen did a study on appreciation and gratitude. Noelle underwent two SPECT scans when she was working on her book The Power of Appreciation. Her first scan was thirty minutes after meditating on all things that she was thankful for in her life. Her brain looked very healthy after this “appreciation meditation.”
Several days later she was scanned after focusing on her major fears in life. Needless to say, her meditation scan looked very different than her fearful scan.
Mental Health is Brain Health
Noelle has seriously decreased activity in two parts of her brain. Her cerebellum was completely shut down. When cerebellum activity is low people tend to be clumsier and less likely to think their way out of problems. This explains why negative thinking is involved in athletic slumps.
Her SPECT scan provided proof that negative thinking actually shuts down the coordination part of the brain and negatively impacts the brain.
She also managed to reduce activity in her temporal lobes. The temporal lobes are involved with mood, memory, and temper control. Problems in this part of the brain are associated with some forms of depression, violence, dark thoughts, and memory problems. If fearful thoughts take up most of your day, it is hurting your brain too.
Tips for a Healthy, Appreciative, and Grateful Brain:
- Eliminate negative thinking. Practicing gratitude literally helps you have a brain to be grateful for.
- Write 5 things you are thankful for every day so it is solidified in your brain.
- Express gratitude and appreciation to someone daily.
- Listen to brain enhancing music specifically composed to enhance creativity, mood, memory, gratitude, energy, focus, motivation and inspiration. We recommend music by Barry Goldstein and Dr. Daniel Amen.
Showing gratitude is not just something that should be expressed during the holidays. Your mental health is your brain health. If gratitude feels like an unreachable goal, you may want to consider contacting Amen Clinics for additional help and treatment. Contact Amen Clinics today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit.