Gratitude; the bath for the heart

Here I sit in Gratitude, looking at this picture taken of myself with the beautiful Monk who had given me a blessing at Tanah Lot Temple last year.
It brings up a happy memory of when my Meditation Teacher described gratitude as the bath for the heart.  Just  hearing her words lit up my heart.
Gratitude truly is a bath for the heart, and it does amazing things to our brain. The yogi’s are amongst some of the traditions who have known it’s benefits for many centuries, and with modern technology the experts now have proof.
 
Neuroscience researcher Alex Korb (UCLA) has reported how being grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. He goes on to say that if you show gratitude toward others it activates the social dopamine circuits, which make social interactions more enjoyable. Gratitude can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. Showing gratitude whenever you can to everyone in your life, will make for happier relationships.
 
Furthermore, gratitude increases the neurotransmitter serotonin.  It’s comforting to know even when life’s tough and you can’t find anything to be grateful for it doesn’t matter, it’s the searching that counts.  Focusing on the positive aspects of your life, simply searching for what you’re grateful about increases the serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.
 
It’s not finding gratitude that mattes most, it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.
 
With that wonderful news, I am very mindful to keep gratitude at the forefront of my mind, to express my heart felt gratitude to my loved ones and to all I meet.  To continue looking for new ways to express gratitude and share compassion with others. To extend the experience and the power of being grateful to everyone.  #GratitudeRocks #GratitudeUplifts #BeGrateful

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