Gratitude, The Antidepressant

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.”

Zig Ziglar

Dopamine and serotonin – 2 out of the 4 neurochemicals in the brain – are a winning combo. In fact, their combined strength can rival that of a prescribed antidepressant!

How do we tap into these ‘reward’ and ‘mood booster’ chemicals? The answer is simple; so simple, I questioned its effectiveness until I myself began to experience the benefits. Gratitude.

Gratitude ‘nudges’ the brain in a positive direction, eliminating pent-up toxicity from poorly-regulated emotions. This antidepressant au naturale is even an effective combatant to PTSD.

Not only can gratitude perform wonders with a depressed mind, it can also lower the stress hormone, cortisol; thereby, stress levels crumble and we are better equipped to look at ‘the big picture’ rather than just a stressful piece of it.

Fact: the mind cannot simultaneously focus on both positive and negative thoughts.

We may have a thousand different thoughts in a moment’s time, but a positive thought cannot simultaneously coexist with a negative one. Gratitude taps into the positive side of our minds!

What about those of us with inherently pessimistic outlooks? Good news! Neurologically speaking, gratitude ‘flips a switch’ to rewire the brain from negative to positive! How long does it take to tear down those negative neurological bridges? One month. That’s it!

My daily gratitude regimen:
  • 1 page list of things for which I’m grateful
  • 1 page of positive affirmations
  • 1 page day journal, highlighting only the positives of each 24 hour period

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