What does gratitude actually do for us?

We hear a lot about the positive aspects of expressing daily gratitude for our mental wellness but have you ever wondered what that actually means?

First, shall we get that well deserved hot cuppa & treat, put our feet up & enjoy a little break from our busyness.

Now we’re settled, let’s begin…

Did you know that there is actually a special neuro chemical exchange going on in our brains when we purposefully look for things to be grateful for…

You see our subconscious will look for the things that confirm what we already believe in our heart of hearts.

Feeding either the negative ‘reward’ (aka addictive) areas of the brain with its toxic neuro chemicals or conversely the positive ‘feel good‘ areas of our brains with their healthy neuro chemicals.

Examples

If I believe that only negative things happen in life then I will only recognize the negative circumstances confirming that negative belief.

Everything in life will be viewed through negative lenses. Which will then inhibit any recognition of the positive aspects in life. As that doesn’t feed the toxic reward neuro chemistry of my negative beliefs.

However this negative chemical exchange can be reversed, as research has discovered! Refer II

Conversely, if I look for things to be grateful for no matter how small, my neuro chemistry gets an extra surge of positive healthy chemicals which my brain really enjoys!

It’s those positivefeel good’ chemicals that our brains actually thrive upon! Thus, our subconscious will start to look for that extra healthy positive chemical release through gratitude!

In other words our brains were created for gratitude!

Confirmation from above

This scientific research only confirms what God has been telling us through His Word since the first century…

“…in everything gives thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Here in Australia we don’t have the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving, as in other parts of the world, but I love the idea!

I look for moments of gratitude in each day. Today I’m grateful for the following…

* God’s relentless kindness to my loved ones & I.

photo of couple hugging during dawn

* Hubby’s quiet & loving presence in my life

* The peace & sanctuary of our home by the sea. I so enjoy this area, especially in this year of pandemic isolation.

* Tea & all its flavors! The Lady Grey blend I’m sipping at the moment & the delicious home baked gf banana & coconut bread I’m enjoying.

* And I’m grateful for you my dear friend for joining me here each week…you truly are a blessing! Did you know that? Well you are!

May we look to the positive things in our lives & be grateful for the blessings found.

Until next time,

Jennifer

You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


© 2019 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog, All Rights Reserved. Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

Blog link Ups

Featured at Maree Dee’s Grace & Truth LinkUp

29 thoughts on “What does gratitude actually do for us?

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  1. Thank you Jennifer for this timely post. Gratitude will change our attitude. I always suggest to ladies that I mentor to make a daily list of blessings that they then can praise God and thank Him for. Gratitude and thankfulness will cause us to praise Him so the rocks don’t have to do it in our place. You are a blessing and an encourager, sweet friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God has created us in every wonderful way so we can live as He wants us to if we only choose that way. I get e-mails from MovieGuide, and tonight I just finished reading about Michael J. Fox and how in his darkest hours with serious health issues he learned to be more deeply grateful than ever. He believes being grateful is connected to being able to accept your situation, not as punishment or penance, but simply for what it is with assurance that your situation can change.

    I just had a cup (actually 2 cups) of green tea. I just bought a box of it at a place where they sell mostly honey but have a gift shop as well, and tea is one of those things you can buy there. They also have the flower teas. I have never had them, but bought some to put into Christmas gifts. I suppose I should try one myself sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to say “thank you” for such a beautiful reminder especially during this not so positive time in our world. I have so very much to be grateful for and it is nice to be reminded of that very fact. Even though times are tough and it is easy to be swept into fear and uncertainty ~ God’s love never fails.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So well done, Jennifer, connecting the actual physical results of gratitude in our lives! I always know when I’m feeling negative that I have chosen to forsake an attitude of gratitude! I needed this reminder to day, THANK YOU!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome Donna! It’s always a choice & we often forget this when we’re tired, weary or in the depth of dealing with what appears as an overwhelming situation in our lives. But gratitude begets happier & healthier mental wellbeing. 😀

      Like

  5. One of the things I miss most right now is being able to warmly greet and be greeted by people throughout my day. I realize that I am very grateful for all of those little interactions that I must have taken for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post, Jennifer! I never thought about the downward spiral we get into when we allow negative thoughts to dominate, but it makes perfect sense. The verse from 1 Thessalonians perfectly correlates with your point.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennifer, I am so glad you wrote this post. As you probably already know, I love gratitude. This time of year, when we do our 30 days of gratitude, is one of my favorite activities as a blogger. Thank you for sharing the physical attributes of living a life of gratitude. Maree

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How fascinating! I didn’t realize the connection between gratitude and our feel-good chemicals. I start every day with listing 5-10 things I’m thankful for–it’s made a wonderful difference in my life–now I know why!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ‘Our brains were created for gratitude.’

    Oh yes, Jennifer! No wonder that the cultivating of this practice, this lifestyle brings us peace and joy. God shaped us to be people with hearts overflowing …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That makes a lot of sense. That helps explain why, when something goes wrong, wrong things seem to snowball. When I feel negative about the first thing, that colors my perception of everything. It takes intentionality, but there’s always something to be thankful for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s a great point to make Barbara there is always something to be grateful for, no matter how small. But the more we look the more positive things we find which feeds those healthy neuro chemicals! 😀

      Like

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