What are YOU grateful for today?
This can be anything from “My coworker brought me coffee when I needed it” to “I’m grateful to be alive today”. No matter how grand or inconsequential the thought, practicing gratitude can be an important (and healthy!) part of your daily routine.
The results of a study conducted at UC Berkeley in 2016 found that patients who practiced gratitude writing during each session of therapy showed better overall mental health at four and twelve weeks following the conclusion of the study. Additionally, people who frequently practiced gratitude tended to shift attention away from toxic emotions, and as a result spent less time focusing on negative experiences.
Much like how we direct our rehab exercises to have long-lasting effects on the brain, the study showed that practicing gratitude may have a potential for long-lasting effects as well. Those who practiced gratitude showed greater activation of the medial prefrontal cortex when assessed three months later, meaning that there is a potential to improve mental health over time via long-term changes in the brain!
Do you practice gratitude? If you do, how do you think it affects you?