Gratitude Is a Gateway to Positive Emotions

Gratitude Is a Gateway to Positive Emotions

via Psychology Today by Najma Khorrami

Does expressing gratitude regularly seem flaky, fuzzy, or overly altruistic?

At the same time, do you feel stuck, upset or like you’re constantly chasing joy and happiness?

Giving gratitude a chance could help you along your quest to better mood and health.  The scientific research on gratitude shows that, when routinely practiced, feelings of gratefulness are accompanied by more positive emotions.

Here are three ways that gratitude is a gateway to positive emotions:

1. Gratitude helps your brain process other positive emotions, including joy.

If you practice gratitude regularly for at least two to eight weeks, it is likely you will experience increased positive emotions including interest, excitement, joy and pride.

Gratitude increases dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which serve as key neurotransmitters that give us feelings of contentment. If we are grateful more often, the happiness-producing neural pathways strengthen, just as exercise strengthens the body.

The Greater Good Science Center at The University of California at Berkeley suggests gratitude journaling for 15 minutes, three times per week for two weeks to see positive effects.  Forbes magazine contributor Janet Miller suggests it takes eight weeks for brain patterns to shift and induce positive effects.

Taking the first step towards your goal of feeling better and like yourself begins with making gratitude a regular practice, in whatever method you enjoy…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE

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