Three Things Thursday: 8 September 2016

As usual I’m joining with Emily of Nerd in the Brain (and others) for Three Things Thursday’. As she says…

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

However, this week I’m not going to focus on my three things (briefly, they are happy friends, an impressive cake and otters)… instead I thought you might be interested in why it’s a good thing to do.

Three Things Thursday is good fun and makes me think about the positive even when I’m feeling blue… but in fact, focusing on the positive and trying to think of positives is genuinely good for you. Thinking about things you are grateful for induces your brain to produce chemicals that make you feel good:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable …

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex….

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

Eric Barker

If you want to be more successful and happier in your life, there is strong scientific evidence that focussing on the positives is key rather than stressing about the negatives. I highly recommend this short and funny TED Talk, it really is worth a watch:

So that’s it for this week. Now, do yourself a favour and tell me what are you feeling grateful for.

(do watch the film, it’s about 12 minutes and you get to learn how to be a unicorn!)


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  1. I’m grateful I got a hard job done. I’m grateful I’m not stripping paint any more. I’m grateful we’re having some rain and everything in my garden is lovely and green, even the giant weeds.


  2. I am feeling grateful for my Snail. Again.


  3. The list could be very long but in categories : i have everything I need and quite a bit of what I simply want, i am healthy, I have the love and support of family and friends, a warm comfy home where I look out onto plants and trees, breathe clean air and drink clean water. I am rich indeed in the things that matter.


  4. w1nt3l

     /  September 8, 2016

    Interesting twist on TTT I think. I’m a huge fan of TED talks, on that site daily watching presentations over lunch. I also just noticed the small happy face in the footer of your site, like its a subtle “happy” icon wishing all visitors a good day 🙂


  5. Enjoyed the TED talk hugely – thinking of sharing it with my S4 tutor time class….


  6. I absolutely believe in the power of gratitude and TTT is a fun way to share what we’re delighting in, isn’t it? I enjoyed the TED talk. Here’s to keeping our eyes on the happy, our minds on the positive, and our hearts in gratitude.


  7. Well said. I totally agree about the reasons to keep gratitude in focus. That’s why I keep a separate gratitude journal along with my regular journal. I have seen this particular Ted Talk and he is Amazing. I had sent it off to several people already. I list my gratitude list every night. Can’t begin to tell you what a difference it makes. Keep it up. 😉


  8. claire

     /  September 10, 2016

    I am grateful for a lovely saturday afternoon playing board games in the garden with my BF. I am grateful for the sound of crickets through the night. I am grateful for this beautiful end of summer here in Switzerland. I need to do this exercise more!



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