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    About this Episode

    It’s been said that happy people are thankful, but maybe it’s the other way around. Thankful people are happy. In this episode we discuss the value of and the way that practicing gratitude can improve your overall outlook and mental health. Mireille and Adam talk through some of the underlying neuropsychological aspects of this habit including the key brain structures and neurotransmitters that are affected by practicing this routinely. This is one show that will pay–over and over again–that is, if you’re willing to put the knowledge into practice. Just how “happy” do you want to feel?

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Practicing gratitude regularly can improve overall well-being by appreciating the positive aspects of our lives and reducing the impact of grief. It's a habit that requires appreciation, not comparison, and can lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
    • Practicing gratitude and positive thinking can widen our perspective, identify priorities, and open up new opportunities by creating a mental framework that grows cumulatively over time.
    • Start your day with gratitude to better manage external challenges and build mental frameworks. Incorporating exercise can also improve cognitive flexibility for a more positive mindset.
    • Writing down things we are grateful for can improve mental health by training the brain to see the positive, promoting empathy and stress relief, and honing focus. It's like defragging the brain's cognitive load to improve overall well-being.
    • Showing gratitude and giving without expecting anything in return can activate parts of the brain that help regulate emotions, make better decisions, manage stress, maintain healthy relationships, and promote overall well-being.
    • Gratitude is associated with the frontal lobe of the brain and releasing dopamine, creating good feelings and natural highs. Practice gratitude through journaling and expressing it daily for a happier life.
    • Practicing gratitude enhances positivity, promotes pro-social behavior, and releases dopamine. It can be implemented practically at work by starting meetings with what went well and using retrospectives to analyze successes and failures. Focusing on positivity allows individuals to see more positives than limitations, contributing to the cycle of doing good and feeling good.
    • Practicing gratitude can improve one's outlook on life, positively impact those around them, and broaden their perspectives. It's a cognitive hack that sets the brain to see things from a positive perspective. Keep trying, practicing gratitude is not in vain.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    The Power of Practicing Gratitude

    Practicing gratitude can contribute to making a difference in people's mentality, and henceforth how they feel. Gratefulness is a habit we can practice that requires an appreciation of the positive aspects of our particular situation, not comparison. Gratitude implies a sense of swelling in the heart, while thankfulness is recognition. Practicing gratitude regularly can keep us healthier and happier. When we practice gratitude, we appreciate the value of opportunities and relationships in our lives. Practicing gratitude is particularly helpful when navigating the challenging process of grief or grieving. We should develop a sense of gratefulness more routinely to become healthier and happier.

    The Power of Cultivating Gratitude and Positive Thinking

    Practicing gratitude reinforces positive thinking, which broadens the sense of possibilities in life, and opens up the mind to new skills and resources. Negative emotions like fear tend to narrow our perspective and prevent us from seeing things in a wider context. Our mental frameworks, perspective and positive thinking help us to see things clearly and with a panoramic view which allows us to identify our priorities in life. Cultivating gratitude and focusing on positive emotions can help us create mental frameworks that allow us to respond to situations positively, in turn opening up new opportunities. This skill becomes a cumulative effect that exponentially grows over time when practiced regularly.

    The Power of Practicing Gratitude and Exercise for a Positive Mindset.

    Practicing gratitude is a skill or habit that broadens and builds upon other skills, allowing you to be in charge of your mind and how you respond to things. Starting your day with gratitude is a powerful concept that helps set up your mind for the day and enables you to better manage external challenges that may emerge. Instead of starting your day with email or other reactive modes, practicing gratitude helps you focus on the positive while acknowledging the negative. In addition to building habits and mental frameworks around gratitude, exercise is another great way to improve cognitive flexibility and move towards a more positive mindset.

    The Power of Gratitude Journaling for Mental Health

    Practicing gratitude by writing things down can enhance attention, consolidate thoughts, and defrag the brain, leading to improved mental health. Writing down gratitude also teaches the brain to see the world in a positive light, promoting greater activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with empathy and stress relief. There are many ways to journal, but it is a powerful tool for cementing today's thought and honing focus. If thoughts are seen as a variation of a computer, it's essential to remove irrelevant ones to unblock the mind's cognitive load. By training the mind to focus on the good, gratitude can improve overall mental and emotional well-being.

    The Benefits of Expressing Gratitude and Giving

    Expressing gratitude activates the brain's medial prefrontal cortex, which helps in regulating emotions and decision-making process. Altruism and reward system regions are also activated, and the brain craves the experience of giving. Chronic stress is bad for health and relationships, but encountering stress is not necessarily bad. Giving without expecting anything in return can help with navigating relational challenges and avoiding resentment. Greater activation in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex is seen in those who practice gratitude. Regulating emotions is important in maintaining emotional balance, managing stress, and sustaining healthy relationships.

    Understanding the Science behind Gratitude & Its Practical Application

    Gratitude is associated with the frontal lobe of the brain, responsible for perspective-taking and seeing the broader perspective amidst the mini perspective. Giving in relationships should be proportionate; disproportionate giving might lead to resentment and an outcome focus rather than true altruism. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in pleasure, reward, and motivation, is also involved in gratitude and creates good feelings, motivating individuals to repeat specific behaviors, including expressing gratitude more often. Being addicted to gratitude may not be a bad thing as it creates natural highs and motivates individuals. Practical aspects of gratitude include journaling and expressing gratitude every day. Understanding the science behind gratitude is crucial for its practical application.

    The Power of Practicing Gratitude in Daily Life

    Practicing gratitude allows individuals to focus on positivity and fall in love with the process over outcomes. Expressing gratitude promotes pro-social behavior and reinforces repetition by releasing dopamine. Individuals can practically implement gratitude by starting workplace meetings with what went well and using retrospective sessions to analyze what went well, didn't go well and what shouldn't be done again. By focusing on positivity, individuals can tune their minds to see more positives alongside challenges, reinforcing the adaptive cycle of doing good and feeling good. Though acknowledging negativity is important, individuals can choose not to enhance it, allowing the negative to fade and not cloud over any and all of the good that could be in it.

    The Power of Practicing Gratitude

    Optimizing for positivity, gratitude, and the positive sides of things can benefit an individual and those around them. Building a mental framework of gratitude can help an individual to see things in a positive perspective over and over again. Practicing gratitude not only allows an individual to feel better but also affects others in a positive way. Life is like running sprints amidst a marathon, and practicing gratitude is like a cognitive hack that sets an individual's brain to see things from a positive perspective. Trying again is essential when things crash; the effort is not in vain. Practicing gratitude allows individuals to broaden their minds and hearts, improving the way they see themselves, their world, and others.

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