Why It’s Important to be Practising Gratitude

Practising Gratitude is not just fashionable, it’s a vital mental health skill that you can practise and get better at! Practising gratitude will not only help you feel better, it can also help improve your sleep, mood and immunity(1)!

In turn it can decrease stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and risk of disease(2, 3).

Research has shown that gratitude is also strongly associated with greater happiness and who doesn’t want to be happier(4)?


Any behaviour that you engage in regularly will change your biology; therefore, the act of being grateful regulates cortisol production, your stress hormone and releases oxytocin, the love hormone(5).

Studies have shown the amygdala and hippocampus are activated by feelings of gratitude. These areas in the brain regulate your bodily functions, emotions and memory(6).

Similar to giving, gratitude also triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters and hormones that are associated with happiness, including dopamine and serotonin(7).

If the levels of these hormones is too low it can contribute to developing depression.

Practicing gratitude regularly can be a natural antidepressant because it produces feelings of contentment and pleasure.

As we’ve already touched on, it can also reduce your pain! Yes, pain. Gratitude helps regulate dopamine in your brain which is a natural pain reliever(8).

It can also help you build better social connections and enhance your productivity.


Keep a journal. Make notes of everything and everyone you’re grateful for. Writing it down can help reaffirm it and on the days you are feeling low, you can pick it up and take a look.ss

Self-care. Be grateful of yourself and treat yourself, whether it be reading a book, listening to music, going to the gym or getting a massage.

Affirmations. You can say them to yourself of read them out loud. It’s a great way to start the day.. ‘Today I am grateful for….’

Acts of kindness. It could be as simple as holding a door for someone or letting someone out in the traffic. Be kind.

The best part about practising gratitude is it’s FREE so if you’re not doing it already, try and work more gratitude into your day and see how it makes you feel.

Charlie x

More about Charlie, what she offers, and to book a free session, check out her shop here: https://into-you.com.au/product-category/charlie



(1) Logan, Amanda (2022) Can Expressing Gratitude Improve Your Mental, Physical Health? mayoclinichealthsystem.org, retrieved 11th March 2024 from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/can-expressing-gratitude-improve-health

(2) Makhoul M, Bartley EJ. Exploring the relationship between gratitude and depression among older adults with chronic low back pain: a sequential mediation analysis. Front Pain Res (Lausanne). 2023 May 5;4:1140778. doi: 10.3389/fpain.2023.1140778. PMID: 37213708; PMCID: PMC10196463.

(3) Lancaster, Vanessa (2023) Gratitude Is the Best Attitude for Chronic Pain Patients psychologytoday.com, retrieved 11th March 2024 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/chronic-pain-diaries/202306/gratitude-is-the-best-attitude-for-chronic-pain-patients

(4) Stoerkel, Erika MSc (2019) The Science and Research on Gratitude and Happiness positivepyschology.com, retrieved 11th March 2024 from https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-happiness-research/

(5) Algoe SB, Way BM. Evidence for a role of the oxytocin system, indexed by genetic variation in CD38, in the social bonding effects of expressed gratitude. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014 Dec;9(12):1855-61. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst182. Epub 2014 Jan 5. PMID: 24396004; PMCID: PMC4249462.

(6) Šimić G, Tkalčić M, Vukić V, Mulc D, Španić E, Šagud M, Olucha-Bordonau FE, Vukšić M, R Hof P. Understanding Emotions: Origins and Roles of the Amygdala. Biomolecules. 2021 May 31;11(6):823. doi: 10.3390/biom11060823. PMID: 34072960; PMCID: PMC8228195.

(7) Fox GR, Kaplan J, Damasio H, Damasio A. Neural correlates of gratitude. Front Psychol. 2015 Sep 30;6:1491. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01491. PMID: 26483740; PMCID: PMC4588123.

(8) Wood PB. Role of central dopamine in pain and analgesia. Expert Rev Neurother. 2008 May;8(5):781-97. doi: 10.1586/14737175.8.5.781. PMID: 18457535.

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