October 29, 2015 

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday presents a great opportunity to examine the positive impact of gratitude. G ratitude re-wires our brain and nervous system. Gratitude increases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. In one study, subjects who showed more gratitude had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus, which controls many essential bodily functions, including eating, drinking and sleeping, and influences metabolism and stress levels. 

Train your brain to look for happiness rather than focusing on the negatives. A gratitude practice allows us to embrace what we have and give up the chase for perfection, which, can leave one so anxious about failure that s/he is immobilized.  Celebrate the things- big and small- that give you  pleasure: a beautiful sunset, the changing leaves, a perfect cup of coffee or your caring family. 

Dr. Robert Emmons a leading authority in the field of positive psychology notes, "Scientists are latecomers to the concept of gratitude. Religions, philosophies and ancient teachings have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue and an integral component of health, wholeness and well being."

Retrain Your Brain for Gratitude. Are You Aware That:
  • Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality.
  • People who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis have been found to exercise more regularly, have fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives, and feel more optimistic about their upcoming week as compared to those who keep journals recording the stressors or neutral events of their lives. 
  •  Grateful people report lower levels of depression and stress.

  • Take Action and Get Positive Results 
    • Keep a daily gratitude journal
    • Express your thanks with words and actions 
    • Remember to thank your partner/ family for who they are
    • Notice the small things for which you are grateful
    You are never too young or old to introduce gratitude into your life. As Piglet noted in Winnie-the-Pooh "even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude." A.A. Milne

    At Core Counseling, you can pursue Mind-Body Wellness through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and other therapeutic techniques. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call me at Core Counseling, LLC: 201.875.5699. Experience a comfortable, private and confidential environment with an atmosphere of encouragement, optimism and compassion.

    Together we can find solutions to your core issues. " Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey 

    In Health,

    Lisa Fedder, MSW, LCSW, LCADC
    560 Sylvan Avenue                     108 Baker Street
    Englewood Cliffs, NJ  07632       Maplewood, NJ  07040
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