Great Health Guide


Gratitude raises mood, increases satisfacti­on & happiness

- Dr Suzanne Henwood

INthe two previous editions of Great Health GuideTM, we discussed The Brain in My Gut and The Brain in My Heart. In this third article, we combine the Gut and Heart Brain with the way we think, the Brain in Your Head, by being grateful every day, using all of your brains.

The positive mental and emotional effects of a regular gratitude practice are well known. A recent google search on ‘Being Grateful Every Day’ showed 263,000,000 hits.

Some of the key benefits of being grateful every day are:

• Increased wellbeing & energy • Better physical health & longevity • Improved emotional health with increased self esteem • Better resilience & sleeping better • More empathy & improved relationsh­ips • More optimistic & happy • More productive at work, enhances our career growth

This great graphic below shows a whole range of benefits. These are underpinne­d by research.

In the diagram, look at the links to happiness. The research shows us that happiness is increased when we feel more grateful. And we feel more grateful when we have gratitude. It’s like setting up a beautiful loop inside us, which over time, we change our outlook on life. This has been shown to happen in as little as five minutes a day, over 2-3 months.

It takes a little practice, but having gratitude is a skill you can learn and improve on. For some people it will come more naturally than others. Start where you are at and make a commitment to practice every day.

Use the mBraining technique. We take gratitude practices one step further by including the head, heart and gut in what we do. For some people gratitude has become a head based chore, and without the full feeling of gratitude from a heart based competency, the habits might not continue, since action is a gut based function.

Ask yourself this question: ‘Today I am grateful for…’ and then use the five steps in the mBraining Gratitude Practice technique: 1. Focus on your Head Brain:

Think about what you are grateful for. Take a moment to recall the specifics of that. Get a picture of it, identify some key words associated with it. Take some time getting real detail about what it is you are grateful for and what stories that help you to tell at head level. 2. Now focus on your Heart Brain:

Dropping your attention to the heart, feel that gratitude. Feel it so specifical­ly that you could describe it. What colour is it? What texture? What movement? What sounds? Take some time to describe and feel all the unique characteri­stics that mean you can confidentl­y label that sensation of gratitude. 3. Next focus on your Gut Brain:

Drop your attention in to your abdomen and pause to answer the question. ‘Who is the you, that is grateful?’ Take a moment to deeply savour what you are grateful for, to really experience it as part of who you are.

4. Moving to your ANS: (Autonomic Nervous System).

Allow the feeling of gratitude to grow and spread round your body. Feel that sensation as it goes right out to your skin surface. Maybe even stroke your skin gently to connect with, appreciate and acknowledg­e that feeling throughout your body.

5. Bring your attention back to the heart:

Bring all the awareness that you have perceived and truly appreciate whatever it is that you were grateful for, in a new deeper way. Take a moment to notice how that is different to any previous gratitude practice you may have done.

You can easily do this exercise in five minutes, or of course feel free to take longer. I believe that this deeper, more holistic way of finding gratitude, will enhance your experience. It will enable you to see and feel the benefits even more easily, so that you will start to incorporat­e this into your daily routine.


Gratitude works by raising mood, increasing satisfacti­on and in feeling good about yourself. However, mBraining Gratitude practices only work when you take time every day to make it part of your routine. When you genuinely connect with head, heart, gut and ANS, you allow yourself time to really feel grateful.

By offering a different approach, one that uses your multiple brains, I hope that you will practise being grateful every day. If you have practised gratitude in the past, then revive it. Commit to five minutes every day for two months and discover ‘what is new and different now?’. This is the great question to ask yourself daily, as you assess the impact gratitude has on your life.

Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4­Success. She is also the CEO of The Healthy Workplace and a Master Trainer and Master Coach of mBIT (Multiple Brain Integratio­n Techniques) and can be contacted via her website.

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