How can something as simple as a "thank you" change your brain? Well, it’s easy.
As humans, we have this amazing superpower called Neuroplasticity. It looks like a big scary word but it’s actually really simple.
Neuroplasticity is our brain's ability to change, leaving behind the things it doesn’t need anymore and focusing on things that are more important. Think of it like having a closet that automatically cleans itself out. The things you don’t wear anymore just take up a bunch of space and don’t serve you anymore, so they’re automatically tossed out for you to make room for the current and even new things you wear more often.
Because we can’t actually see into our brains, this automatic “cleaning out” process happens all the time without us knowing.
Here's the best part:
We can take charge of the cleaning out and do it ourselves (or get some help) to make it go faster.
For example, showing gratitude can help with cleaning out symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Let's take a look at a study of 300 adults that were seeking counseling for anxiety and depression. Following the closet metaphor, let’s think of these adults as all having "cluttered mental closets" filled with a lot of things they don’t serve them anymore. All these things take up mental space and, many times, can be the cause for their anxiety and depression. Let’s also think of the counselor as the person coming to help clean.