We have just come through a week of gratitude and thanksgiving. This season in particular I have been curious about the mechanics of gratitude. Many have researched the topic, and offer this as a strategy and one-stop cure for life’s angst.
The brain’s neuroplasticity is impacted by a regular gratitude practice, research finds, which is, “the brain’s ability to modify, change and adapt both structure and function throughout life and in response to experiences”. In other words, the emotions we feel related to a particular memory can be altered through a practice of gratitude.
Jane Ransom, who specialises in the subconscious mind has a wonderful TED Talk where she explains the (visceral) changes expressing gratitude can have on our well being.
Here are two quotes I am dropping in here:
- “If you want to feel more emotional joy feel more gratitude”
- “When you practice more gratitude, you change yourself, you change the world.”
Chris Schembra’s book, Gratitude and Pasta will teach you how to use a technique employed by none other than Oprah Winfrey, dinner parties, to foster more connection with the peope in your life. He wants to move away from the what we know as networking, and more towards building deeper connections.
My curiosity about gratitude led me upon the unexpected benefits of generosity, revelations of which have emerged from various studies, one for you to flick through right here if you are so inclined. Improved self-esteem, better relationships, better well-being and positive emotions are amongst the touted benefits of your kindness. Added to earning a higher income.
The study led by Kimmo Erikkson also found that generous people are more likely to be promoted and avail new business opportunites.