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Brain Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude for Brain Health: Step 1 - Recall a time when you were genuinely thanked for something.




In this segment, Julie Fratantoni, PhD, reveals some benefits of practicing gratitude with WFAA's Jane McGarry, including how making thankfulness a habit can increase production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, shown to enhance feelings of well-being and happiness. Neuroimaging research has shown, using fMRI brain scans, that when we remember feelings of gratitude, the brain's anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex activate, triggering the reward network and encouraging a positive influence on perspective and social behaviors. Dr. Fratantoni shares a simple, two-step "neuroscience way" to practice gratitude:


"Closing your eyes always helps me. Step 1 is to think of a time when you were genuinely thankful for something. It might have been written in a thank you card, or someone told you in person. Step 2 is to really experience and recall all the emotions that you felt in your body while you were being thanked. And you can do it as quickly as 1 to 5 minutes, and the benefits are pretty immediate." – Julie Fratantoni, PhD
Watch the full segment at WFAA

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