Living in Gratitude

Yesterday I was blessed to host our first Women of Faith spring breakfast. What a wonderful experience to share a morning together spending time sharing, learning and growing in faith and gratitude. I loved seeing the women visiting and getting to know each other in a deeper way than they could on a Sunday morning at church.

One of my favorite things about the morning was sharing how our brains operate on gratitude. The National Institutes of Health studied people’s brains while they summoned up feelings of gratitude and found that there were higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus. The part of the brain controls essential body functions, metabolism and stress levels. There were also higher activity in brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine. When we think about the things in our lives that we are grateful for we get a dose of dopamine. Increases of dopamine makes us want more of it:

Gratitude = Dopamine = More Gratitude = More Dopamine…..

As we start seeing things to be grateful for our brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for. Wow! Isn’t this awesome?

Living a life in gratitude helps us find more things to be grateful for. Oh this is so much better than living a life being critical, complaining and grumpy. It takes practice but the more you do it – the easier it gets and the more naturally you will be a grateful person.

Start everyday with a moment of gratitude. Write it down. Write it on your mirror, in your journal, your planner, on a note in a gratitude jar or where ever you can see it and remember it. You will be glad you did!