Showing appreciation for others benefits your brain.

Make Love to the Mind: How Appreciation Benefits Your Brain

Do you know what happens when you compliment someone? 

Whether it’s a stranger, lover, friend, or foe, the effect is the same – a shot of dopamine straight to the brain. 

Here’s the science behind it: appreciation triggers the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain responsible for producing dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in our productivity and happiness. 

Numerous studies show an increase in motivation among employees who receive praise for their work; even for completing the simplest of tasks

The result is greater output with the added benefit of higher morale. 

Alternatively, the research found that low levels of dopamine reduce our desire to work hard for things. Basically, without gratitude, it’s difficult to feel inspired and to connect our personal pride with the work we do for others. 

But wait, there’s more! 

After you compliment someone, and they begin to enjoy their fix, something else remarkable happens – our inner voyeur gets a little wound up. 😏

When you give appreciation to others and see the pleasure they receive, your hypothalamus is stimulated in return.

Meaning, your brain is injected with dopamine when you express your gratitude for someone.

And since it helps ward off depression, dopamine is a powerful protector of your mental health – if you want to deepdive into the neuroscience of it all, start with episode #92 of The Knowledge Project podcast: Balancing the Brain Budget with Lisa Feldman Barrett.

Photo by Mert Talay

Customer service is life’s greatest asset

From a professional perspective, complimenting your employees and colleagues has obvious benefits to the bottom line. And when that appreciation extends to your customers, brand loyalty is the result. 

But let’s forget about business and focus on personal relationships and daily life instead. 

Knowing gratitude has a profound impact on the brain, why not put that power to good use?

Each day you have the opportunity to: 

  • raise people up with random acts of kindness;
  • provide inspiration and motivation to others and yourself; and to
  • pull your mind from darkness by shining the light on positive experiences.

Let me put it this way – every interaction in life is an opportunity to serve and be served. Communicating your appreciation to do so is just good business.

PS. I appreciate you and all your hard work. 🤗

I know things have been difficult lately, but you’re trying your best. And you’re doing a damn good job of it, too.

Keep going – you got this shit!

The Diary of Davis Newsletter.
Photo by Aaron Burden

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