Archive - October 5, 2015

Build Your “Gratitude Brain”

Build Your “Gratitude Brain”

Brain Age NYT


Do you believe your brain has to decline with age?

Gratitude is the state of mind that opens us to expansiveness. It has only been a relatively short time ago that we believed that the brain was a fixed at a certain point on life, and that everyone’s brain declined with age.

Now we know that neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons in the marrow of our bones, make their way to our brains for distribution exactly where they’re needed. This process of cellular renewal goes on until you die.

If we think about the nature of gratitude and the nature of the way it opens us to perceive, puts us in a state of safety, and allows the parasympathetic nervous system of the body to remain in homeostasis to repair and strengthen the body, gratitude is enough to bring us to our knees. Then we when we look around us and give our cells permission to receive, to be open, to see, to smell and to appreciate goodness,  we resonate in a way that allows us to have a sense of wholeness and oneness, that is unifying and restorative.

Every single challenge will give me the opportunity of identifying something good in it, and I can find what I like in every person rather than what rubs me the wrong way. That rub may be surely be there, if I choose to make it my focus. And even if I do focus on the “rub” I can know that I am really only focusing on something in myself that is not whole, that needs a look that will end in deeper self-acceptance, if I choose to do the work to realize that what rubs me in another is something I reject in myself.

Good Seen

This thinking really is a new kind of meditation, because its focus is gratitude. Gratitude is where it begins. It does not begin with love or hope. It begins with gratitude, because gratitude is the apprehension of what is good right now. Start the mind in the track of what is good right now, what is to be enjoyed, and that is the track you are likely to stay on.

Feeling gratitude increases blood flow in the brain. Increased ratios of blood flow to the left frontal lobe increase positive mood.

Gratitude is the emotional state that enables the most rapid transmission of positive emotions and the connectivity of positive brain neuropathways.

Gratitude is one of the lead strengths of the happiest people. When in doubt, go to gratitude. Whenever you have spare time, immerse yourself in gratitude. Whenever your brain is wandering, experience gratitude. When you’re in traffic, go to gratitude. When you hear a great song, go to gratitude. In fact, when you hear a lousy song, go to gratitude.

Gratitude is profound experience of healing and restoration.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute