If I were to tell you that you could relieve a great deal of pain by being grateful, would you believe me?
Probably not - especially if you're someone who suffers from chronic pain. But here's the thing - the part of the brain that's involved in pain reduction, is the part of the brain that lights up when we're feeling grateful.
Seriously. You can watch it on an fMRI - it's better than YouTube!
The area where the 2 hemispheres of the brain meet "is massively connected to the systems in the body and brain that regulate emotion and support the process of stress relief." "The regions associated with gratitude are part of the neural networks that light up when we socialize and experience pleasure....They are also closely linked to the brain’s “mu opioid” networks, which are activated during close interpersonal touch and relief from pain."
So let me challenge you a bit: Think of one thing that you're grateful for. It can be anything from your dog's wet nose nudging you when you're feeling blue, to a silly song on the radio that makes you smile, to the smell of bacon and coffee in the morning. Anything.
Now I want you to try spending 3 or more minutes thinking about that thing, and truly feeling gratitude....not just thinking about it, but really feeling it in your body. Pay attention to those feelings for at least 3 minutes.
I'd love it if you'd scroll down and leave me a comment and tell me how you felt when you were in gratitude. Did you notice anything......anything at all......that changed - even just a little? Even for a moment? Let me know. I'm serious.....scroll down and leave a comment.