Brain Healthy Power of Gratitude

Over the past couple of weeks I finished my certification as a brain health coach with the Amen University. One of the most impressive things I learned is how gratitude effects the brain. Many of us know that gratitude is good for us... and others, but just how good it is has largely been a mystery that brain scans have unlocked. The cerebrum is the large part of the brain, the appearance of which, many of us are familiar. However, the small part of the brain, which is very different in appearance and is located at the lower, rear part of the brain, is called the Cerebellum. It is remarkable in that is contains only 10% of the brain's mass, yet 50% of the brains neurons. To say that it is important is an understatement! The amazing thing about our cerebellum is that is lights up with activity when in a state of gratitude. This is hugely helpful because it is also the part of the brain which governs coordination, posture, balance, and speech. Interestingly, when a scan was done on the brain of the same person whose cerebellum lit up when they were thinking grateful thoughts, their cerebellum showed no activity when they were asked to think of hateful, angry thoughts. Amazingly, the thoughts we think directly affect the way in which our brain works, or doesn't work. Wouldn't it be nice to have 50% more brain power? Dwelling on the things for which you are grateful, does just that. Gratitude is the super-fuel for our brains! Think about the difference this can make at home, at the office, in virtually any encounter with anyone, Now imagine, what if everyone in the world made this their regular practice. The really great thing is that this is within the reach of everyone. Sure, we will all face plenty of difficulties, but that doesn't have to be where we live. Think of the boost you will give your brain, yourself, and everyone around you by choosing to dwell on the things for which you are grateful! The good news is that even on our worst days, we are still surrounded by things that inspire gratitude and we have the power to think on those things. Better brains and better lives are waiting for us!

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