Another deep dive podcast from the Huberman Lab exploring the empiric, evidence based benefits of developing your own gratitude practice.
The regular activity of ‘counting your blessings’ or writing down a list of things you are grateful for in your life is now fairly well recognised as a wellness tool. But it turns out the science tells us this is not quite the best way to go.
Behold, the podcast. There is a lot covered and it gets technical at times so here is a link to the relevant timestamps so you can skip straight to the meat and potatoes if you want.
The most effective way to gain the multitude of pro-social benefits from gratitude practice (such as decreased anxiety and increased positive emotions…ie greater well-being) is not to just list the things you are grateful for but rather:
- to receive authentic gratitude from another person
- to reflect or recall receiving gratitude from another person (and this recall must be in the form of a narrative or story).
- to observe another person giving gratitude to a third person.
The practice must be regular (at least a few times a week) and need only last 5 minutes to be effective. A quick and simple investment.
I would add that the actual take-home message here is the importance of giving authentic feedback of gratitude to others whenever it arises in you. It is powerful medicine.
Photo by Green Chameleon