Five Minutes to Better Mental Health: Gratitude and the Brain
Gratitude is derived from the Latin word ‘gratia’, meaning gratefulness or thankfulness.
When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for well-being and contentment.
The practice of gratitude encourages your brain to seek out more of the same, which means the more you are grateful for, the more you will find to be grateful for. Some say “what you appreciate, appreciates.”
By consciously practicing gratitude everyday, we can help our neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.
Many years ago, I was encouraged to develop the practice of taking a gratitude walk. During this time, I look around me, taking in the scenery and thanking the Lord for everything I notice in His creation.
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB):