What are the benefits of biochemistry
Biochemistry of Gratitude: Six Mind and Spirit Benefits
Meditations and mindfulness exercises seem to be becoming increasingly popular in our stressed and information overloaded world. And rightly so: Gratitude makes you more relaxed, more resilient, and happier. Martin Auerswald (biochemist) and Moritz Penne (personal trainer) from FastEasyHealthy demonstrate the benefits of gratitude to the soul and spirit.
How about if you get up tomorrow morning and are grateful for the little gifts that life gives you again today. The first ray of sun you can see, the scent of your partner when you wake up next to him or the cozy duvet after you hit the snooze button again.
There are so many reasons to start the day grateful and in a good mood. But in reality, more and more people seem to be in a bad mood and easily depressed. What can you do about it and what does gratitude do in your body?
What is gratitude
Gratitude denotes a state of feeling, an action, a positive mental attitude as well as a personal value or a personal trait. The term therefore serves to describe positive properties related to us, our environment or our appearance in it.
For today's context, I want to view gratitude as an action and attitude that will help you live happier and healthier lives. The practice of focusing on the positive things in your life will help you create a more beautiful life and realize what you have.
Many of us strive for material possessions and power, but sharing with other people and personal relationships can bring you significantly more wealth. Gratitude helps you discover and appreciate this wealth.
The practice of gratitude can take many different forms, the important thing is that you recognize the things that have been given to you without having to do anything extra and that you can enjoy every day. Writing these things down or giving personal thanks to friends, family and acquaintances is already the practice of gratitude.
Gratitude promotes health: Relaxation sets in and stress is reduced
What happens in the body when you are grateful?
Gratitude is a feeling that arises in your head through a cascade of reactions and the formation of hormones. If you are grateful or do one of the following gratitude practices, the vagus nerve is activated, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
You switch from an activated nervous system - sympathetic - to the relaxation mode. You feel more relaxed and the stress is reduced. This leads to a decrease in cortisol levels, which is good for your health. (Zahn et al., 2009)
In addition, oxytocin is released, the binding hormone. Otherwise, oxytocin is only released during body contact such as hugs or sex. Gratitude makes you happy pretty quickly, and your empathy and empathy for other people increases.
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Gratitude can be trained like a muscle. The more often you are grateful, the more connections are formed between the corresponding neurons. This makes you grateful more often and makes you feel happy more and more often.
Your brain produces serotonin and dopamine - the happiness and reward hormones - during gratitude practices. The effect is comparable to that of antidepressants, but you also release serotonin and dopamine while exercising, drinking with friends or doing a bungee jump.
Therefore, gratitude is a kind of self-medication and mental "fun maker", no matter where you are and what time it is. There are now specific meditations that help against stress, burnout and depression. Because of the biochemical impact it has on your hormones and wellbeing, gratitude is very effective in making your life healthier and happier.
Benefits of gratitude to the mind and spirit
1. Relaxation for body and mind
Activating the parasympathetic nervous system allows your body and mind to relax. Healing processes and the building of new cells can begin, which is why gratitude is crucial to your health.
2. Appreciation of life
A study showed that people who practice gratitude rate their own well-being significantly more positively than test subjects who did not. (Navjot Bhullar, 2015) With such a practice you learn to appreciate and recognize the things that you already have.
Have you ever searched your closet for all the things you never actually wear? Take a look and see what wealth you are most likely to be living in.
In addition to the biochemical benefits and relaxation that gratitude brings you, you will also find more and more of yourself. Looking for things you are grateful for makes you look at your own positive and negative thoughts, and focus more on them positive focus.
You may know this bias in your brain from buying a car. You want to buy your special model and suddenly you see the car all over town. It works the same way with gratitude with positive thoughts. The more you focus on it, the more beauty you see in the world and the more positive you are.
Say thank you: Three sentences in the evening already contribute to more gratitude during the day
4. Understanding, empathy and contact with feelings
At the same time, you can focus more on others when you are doing well. The release of oxytocin helps you care more about others, empathize with them and show more empathy.
Access to your own feelings enables you to recognize and change them in others. Studies have also shown that gratitude leads to better feelings. (Ouweneel et al., 2014)
RELATED TOPIC: Why the world needs an empathy revolution
5. Mind control
As already described, in order to be grateful, you also have to deal more with your thoughts. This way you recognize negative thoughts faster and can counteract them.
Often negative thoughts also generate negative feelings, which lead to protective actions. These include, for example, excessive alcohol consumption, too much or too little exercise, eating, outbursts of anger or shopping trips.
If you recognize your thoughts early enough and act against them, you can prevent the cause of the actions. Changes in action or the healing of addictions are much easier than through the pure willpower not to carry out the action anymore. Gratitude will help you with this.
Even though it can be argued about what exactly happiness is, it has been shown that grateful people more often have good feelings throughout the day. (Emmons and McCullough, 2003) Assuming happiness as a positive emotional state, grateful people are therefore much happier and more cheerful.
Benefits of gratitude and tips for everyday life
What are the benefits of gratitude for your health and what tips the authors of FastEasyHealthy for everyday life, you can read in Part II on the biochemistry of gratitude. ●
Do you write a gratitude journal? Comment here or discuss in the forum how you practice gratitude in everyday life!
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Written by guest author
Today's post is a guest article by Martin Auerswald (biochemist) and Moritz Penne (personal trainer). On SchnellEinfachGesund they write about healthy habits that everyone can use to establish a healthy lifestyle. Her motto: Everyone can do health!
EMMONS, R.A. & MCCULLOUGH, M. E. 2003. Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. J Pers Soc Psychol, 84, 377-89.
HILL, P.L., ALLEMAND, M. & ROBERTS, B.W. 2013. Examining the Pathways between Gratitude and Self-Rated Physical Health across Adulthood. Pers Individ Dif, 54, 92-96.
JACKOWSKA, M., BROWN, J., RONALDSON, A. & STEPTOE, A. 2016. The impact of a brief gratitude intervention on subjective well-being, biology and sleep. J Health Psychol, 21, 2207-17.
MASSEY, C.N., FEIG, E.H., DUQUE-SERRANO, L. & HUFFMAN, J.C. 2017. Psychological Well-Being and Type 2 Diabetes. Curr Res Diabetes Obes J, 4.
MILLS, PJ, REDWINE, L., WILSON, K., PUNG, MA, CHINH, K., GREENBERG, BH, LUNDE, O., MAISEL, A., RAISINGHANI, A., WOOD, A. & CHOPRA, D 2015. The Role of Gratitude in Spiritual Well-being in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients. Spiritual Clin Pract (Wash D C), 2, 5-17.
NAVJOT BHULLAR, G. S., NICOLA S. SCHUTTE, 2015. Dispositional gratitude mediates the relationship between a past-positive temporal frame and well-being,
Personality and Individual Differences. ELSEVIER, Volume 76, Pages 52-55.
OUWENEEL, E., LE BLANC, P. M. & SCHAUFELI, W. B. 2014. On being grateful and kind: results of two randomized controlled trials on study-related emotions and academic engagement. J Psychol, 148, 37-60.
WOOD, A. M., JOSEPH, S., LLOYD, J. & ATKINS, S. 2009. Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions. J Psychosom Res, 66, 43-8.
ZAHN, R., MOLL, J., PAIVA, M., GARRIDO, G., KRUEGER, F., HUEY, E. D. & GRAFMAN, J. 2009. The neural basis of human social values: evidence from functional MRI. Cereb Cortex, 19, 276-83.
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