The Science Behind How Gratitude Shapes Your Brain and Transforms Your Health

From President Thomas S. Monson we have learned we should "cultivate an attitude of gratitude." Here are a few scientifically proven reasons why it would be a good idea to follow his counsel.

Scientific research shows that gratitude has some incredible benefits and that a daily practice literally rewires the brain for better health and increased happiness. Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier, less depressed, and healthier.

The findings reveal that cultivating and practicing gratitude on a daily basis can actually reshape your neural pathways and rewire your brain into thinking more positively; thus increasing your ability to handle challenging and difficult situations, lift depression, and lessen physical pain.

These mental and physical health benefits have been well documented. According to research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, feeling gratitude or performing acts of kindness stimulates the hypothalamus (the part of our brain that regulates a number of bodily functions including stress); flooding the brain with a chemical called dopamine which produces the sensation of well being, happiness, pleasure, and vitality.

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