Study Suggests That Expressing Gratitude Can Change Your Brain Chemistry And Perception


Did you know that negative thoughts can bring a negative change in your mind? You may have heard it from other people or read it in books. Many people often say ‘Do not mix with negative people?’ The reason is simple – when you have negative thoughts, your perception starts to change. You end up in a negative place and you see the world in a negative light. Things are not the same as before. But gratitude can change that!

Well, you don’t have to believe just people. Now a study says that negative thoughts can change your brain chemistry. 

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Researchers from Indiana University studied 43 subjects who had depression and anxiety. They had to write a letter of gratitude to the people they want to thank. 3 months later, they had to go through a brain scan. There was also a control group who did not have to write this letter. During the scan, the subjects were told that they had to imagine that they were being offered a large amount of money. 

Once this brain exercise of imagination was done, the researchers wanted to test their ‘choice’ or decision-making capabilities. They were asked if they would donate the money to a charity out of gratitude. The brain scan showed that those who chose to donate the money to a charity had a different brain pattern than those who chose not to. The ones who had written the gratitude letter months ago mentioned that they felt grateful, two weeks after that activity. That gratefulness continued for months and that is what led to the choice that they made – donating to a charity. The scanner also detected a lot of activity in the gratitude center of the brain. The control group, however, did not act out of gratitude.

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According to the researchers, the neural effects were long-lasting and quite noteworthy too. From the study, it’s clear that gratitude has the ability to change the way we think. Now, it is universally accepted that gratitude is a positive thing. The study, thus, suggests that exercising and expressing gratitude can have a profound effect on our brain chemistry and develop an overall positive attitude. As per Jarret, if you practice gratitude, you can gain a lot of psychological benefits from it.

So, do not entertain negative thoughts. Let’s practice being grateful for all the beautiful things around us and be positive about life.

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