How Gratitude makes us more giving
There is a deep neural connection between gratitude and giving. It runs very deep. They travel along the same neural pathway in our brain. And as a result, when we are feeling grateful we become more giving.
When we are in a state of gratitude, we take the focus off ourselves. Studies show that this increases our willingness to share with others. Gratitude decreases our self centeredness. This decrease causes us to be more likely to give even to strangers and even still at the expense of ourselves.
Gratitude acts like a moral barometer. It acknowledges when we have benefited from others moral actions. It’s also a moral reinforcer. We will view a “thanks” as a reward. The “thanks” is an unselfish act. Gratitude and giving really are their own rewards. This has been shown in clinical studies where participants have been attached to MRI machines during experiments. The reward centers of the brain let up when they gave to others while practicing gratitude.
The benefit seems to increase as we get olde and the rewards increase as we age. Study suggests the rewards increase as we look for good in the world as opposed to self benefit.