our brains love being grateful
A quick thought, prompted by something interesting I read during the week…It’s about gratitude. I often wonder why I should be grateful. I mean, apart from the virtuous and religious premises. But, the visceral goodness of it all??? What’s that meant to be about? Is there an inherently worthwhile point to striving for gratitude, one that steers us to be so from an evolutionary POV?
I feel there should be. I’ve touched on how being grateful helps my life before, and found that gratitude:
“….creates a congruency between our goals and their fulfillment. This moment of recognition that things are geling cooperatively makes you feel synchronicity and oneness with the flow of life. Which feels good, really good.
It’s like in that moment of gratefulness, everything makes sense. We realize all is OK and the world and the people in it are working perfectly, and we don’t need to interfere for it to do so. This is a massive, gulp-for-air feeling, I find. The bigness of life whacks us in the solar plexus.”
But I read a quote from Alex Korb’s book The Grateful Brain in Brainpickings and it builds on things further. Korb explains that:
“Gratitude can have such a powerful impact on your life because it engages your brain in a virtuous cycle. Your brain only has so much power to focus its attention. It cannot easily focus on both positive and negative stimuli. It is like a small child: easily distracted…
On top of that your brain loves to fall for the confirmation bias, that is it looks for things that prove what it already believes to be true. And the dopamine reinforces that as well. So once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for. That’s how the virtuous cycle gets created.”
As always, it’s a matter of choice. You choose to be grateful…and that blocks out negative stuff. You choose to feed it certain information, so you can reap the rewards. Thus, life becomes a self-fulfilling phenomenon with a feel-good slant. More and more I’m practicing this idea of choosing how I want to feel and be, rather than waiting for the precursor to strike. There are many things I feel missing from my life and this “lack” can leave me feeling lonely, agitated, worthless. My insomnia, for instance, plagues me. It wears me down in every way. But I’m choosing to feel grateful for the fact I can function in spite of no sleep. I’m choosing to enjoy the delirium that ensues…it can be rather pleasant if I choose it. I’m choosing to feed myself information that keeps me feeling good. It’s my choice. For, as I say often here, I only have 80-odd years on the planet.