The surprising brain science of gratitude (November 2021)

November 2021

I’m taking a moment to reflect on this year that passed so quickly (can you believe it’s already almost Thanksgiving again?).

For many people, 2021 has been a struggle – just as 2020 also was.

I wanted to share something about thankfulness at this time of year when our traditions remind us of this important practice.

I know that in the middle of difficult circumstances or a period of depression it can seem challenging to remember why gratitude is valuable, but The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center of UCLA stated that gratitude changes the neural structures in the brain and makes us feel happier and more content. Feeling grateful and appreciating others when they do something good for us triggers the good hormones and regulates effective functioning of the immune system.

Scientists have suggested that by activating the reward center of the brain, gratitude exchange alters the way we see the world and ourselves.

Dr. Alex Korb, in his book Upward Spiral, mentioned that gratitude supports us in focusing on the positive sides of life.

When we give and receive thank you notes, our brain is automatically redirected to pay attention to what we have, producing intrinsic motivation and a strong awareness of the present. Also, at the neurochemical level, gratitude acts as a catalyst for neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – the ones that manage our emotions, anxiety, and immediate stress responses.

I really love the suggestion of giving “thank you” notes and keeping a gratitude journal – maybe even a simple piece of note paper to jot down even one thing each day to notice and be grateful for. Someone I know once mentioned that when he was struggling with this, he made a list of everything that was working in his life: the lights, the sink faucet, the way the sunshine felt on his face.

So, I’ll get this started by saying how grateful I am to have you in my circle. Thank you for being one of those amazing supporters in my life and business. You matter to me.

Please drop me an email or call if you have any questions – or someone you know is in need of expert advice. I love to help those you care about. If you have a referral please click the button down below. Your referrals are the heart and lifeblood of my business.



Omar Khamisa
Mission San Jose Mortgage
2111 W. March Lane, Suite B100
Stockton, CA 95207
Office: 209-651-2000
Mobile: 510-648-5535
Fax: 209-434-2311
NMLS: 369325


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