Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.
- Zig Ziglar
When we express gratitude, the brain releases a surge of dopamine. This happiness hormone gives you a natural high, creating good feelings that motivate you to repeat specific behaviors, like expressing gratitude even more.
Dopamine also increases the experience and duration of positive emotions. In short, it helps you feel good—and research shows that when you feel good, you are more likely to spread your positivity to those you work, live, and play with.
Studies have shown that practicing gratitude activates the hypothalamus. This helps us get deeper and healthier sleep.
A brain filled with gratitude and kindness is more likely to sleep better and also wake up feeling refreshed and energetic every morning.
A recent study found that practicing gratitude activates a part of the human brain—the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Activating this part of the brain triggers a craving for giving.
The researchers concluded that “gratitude biases the brain’s reward system toward rewards for others versus oneself.” By giving, you become more likely to want to connect with others by giving again in the future. This strengthens your social bonds.
You’ve probably already heard plenty about the positive effects of expressing gratitude on mental health.
Now you know where these benefits come from!