What Is the Psychology Behind Gratitude?

When you are thankful and appreciative, your brain releases feel-good chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. These feel-good chemicals elbow out any negative emotions, boost your health and help you engage in meaningful relationships.

Why Might Someone Not Feel Gratitude When They Have Every Classic Reason to?

Trauma is considered the main thief of gratitude. When you have unprocessed trauma, you will likely experience shock most of the time. This makes it hard to notice and appreciate the good things happening in your life.

Why Can It Be Important to Express Gratitude When You Aren’t Grateful?

Expressing gratitude even when you don’t feel grateful boosts your spiritual wellness, increases your chances of being successful in life and strengthens your relationship with others.

What Are 3 Tips to Help Express Gratitude Even If You Aren’t Feeling It?

  • Think about the tough situations you have faced and how you overcame them
  • Start writing down the good things that happen in your life. I advise you to do it in the morning or before going to sleep.
  • Talk about gratitude with those around you

When Should You Not Express Gratitude?

There are times when you should not express gratitude. These include after receiving backhanded gifts, during the famine, during a terrorist attack in your village or after the death of your loved one.

Latest posts by Anastasia Filipenko (see all)

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

Ieva Kubiliute is a psychologist and a sex and relationships advisor and a freelance writer. She's also a consultant to several health and wellness brands. While Ieva specialises in covering wellness topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to mental wellbeing, sex and relationships and health conditions, she has written across a diverse range of lifestyle topics, including beauty and travel. Career highlights so far include: luxury spa-hopping in Spain and joining an £18k-a-year London gym. Someone’s got to do it! When she’s not typing away at her desk—or interviewing experts and case studies, Ieva winds down with yoga, a good movie and great skincare (affordable of course, there’s little she doesn’t know about budget beauty). Things that bring her endless joy: digital detoxes, oat milk lattes and long country walks (and sometimes jogs).

Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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