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How (and why) you should practice gratitude, according to an expert

New study finds mindful nonreactivity is associated with altered neurophysiological responses to errors

New research has found differences in the brain’s signal of error processing between those who are able to observe their feelings without getting lost in them and those who struggle to do so. The findings, which appear in the journal Mindfulness, shed light on the neurophysiological underpinnings of mindfulness.

“I first became aware of the health benefits of mindfulness working at the University of Washington, where I saw firsthand the benefits of mindfulness for chronic pain, depression, and anxiety,” explained study author Emily Cary, a graduate student in school psychology at Syracuse University.

“I became interested in studying mindfulness at the neural level because while there are so many studies indicating mental and physical health benefits from mindfulness, as a field there is still so much to learn about the ‘footprint’ of mindfulness in our brains…

 

How (and why) you should practice gratitude, according to an expert

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“One study found that those who engaged in gratitude journaling for five minutes a day saw their long-term happiness rise by 10%.” — LAUREN GEALL

What are you grateful for today? Chances are, you haven’t put much thought into it. Or if you have, your mind probably goes straight to the big things: your job, your family or your hobbies. But what about the smaller, everyday moments?

Over the last couple of years, the concept of ‘practising gratitude’ – which simply means taking time to reflect upon and notice the things you’re grateful for – has grown in popularity.

Practising gratitude is not just about noticing the big moments listed above (although they can definitely be part of it), but taking the time to reflect on the smaller moments, such as a particularly tasty lunch or the first sip of a gin and tonic…

 

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