Home Mental Wellness How Gratitude Boosts Mental Health & Changes Your Brain

How Gratitude Boosts Mental Health & Changes Your Brain


Dr. Michele Nealon, President of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Explains

Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — During this stressful holiday season, it’s easy to forget to say “thank you” in our day-to-day interactions. But making that effort can boost mental health and change your brain.

Extensive research demonstrates that the “practice of gratitude” can help people become emotionally healthy and less depressed.

“With the ever-escalating cost of health care, it’s important to maintain wellness any time, but especially during these high-anxiety times. Acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives can have tangible benefits for our mental health and long-term well-being,” says Dr. Michele Nealon, president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

“Brain scans have shown greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when participants experience gratitude,” she adds. “Even more impressive is that studies show that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain, training it to be more sensitive and contributing to improved mental health over time.”

According to Dr. Nealon, scientists have found that gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions, even when the gratitude is not communicated to the other person.

Dr. Nealon offers three quick tips for getting your gratitude on this holiday season:

  1. Write a short gratitude letter each day to someone you care about.

  2. Create a gratitude journal so you can go back and remember when and why you were thankful.

  3. Be consistent and patient with yourself—it may take four or more weeks to start seeing a mental health benefit.

“Even if you don’t ‘feel it,’ in the beginning,” says Dr. Nealon, “the positive mental state you create will eventually get stronger as you practice it.”#

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Integrating theory with hands-on experience, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology provides education rooted in a commitment to innovation, service, and community for thousands of diverse students across the United States and globally. Founded in 1979, the nonprofit, regionally accredited university now features campuses in iconic locations across the country (Chicago, Southern California, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Dallas) and Online. To spark positive change in the world where it matters most, The Chicago School has continued to expand its educational offerings beyond the field of psychology to offer more than 35 degrees and certificates in the professional fields of health services, nursing, education, counseling, business, and more. Through its engaged professional model of education, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and an extensive network of domestic and international professional partnerships, The Chicago School’s students receive real-world training opportunities that reflect their future careers. The Chicago School is also a proud affiliate of TCS, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact. To learn more, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu.

Contact: Victor Abalos, vabalos@thechicagoschool.edu

CONTACT: Victor Abalos The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (213) 615-7270 vabalos@thechicagoschool.edu

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