Gratitude is Good for the Heart… Actual Science!

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The Institution of Heart Math (IHM) states that, “true feelings of gratitude, appreciation and other positive emotions can synchronize brain and heart rhythms, creating a bodywide shift to a scientifically measurable state called coherence. In this optimal state, the body’s systems function more efficiently, generating a greater balance of emotions and increased mental clarity and brain function.” This means that gratitude has a physiological and psychological benefit for your body!!

In working with many people on trying to create heart rate coherence, I have found that bringing up feelings of gratitude creates the most calm/synchronized heart rate. People have tried many other positive emotions/thought processes but gratitude, the majority of the time, is the most powerful. That is pretty amazing!!

The IHM goes on to state that gratitude effects the following:

-Creates biochemical change by 1. Improved hormonal balance and 2. Increased production of DHEA (anti-aging hormone).

-Increases positivity.

-Boosts the immune system by increasing IgA, which is the first line of defense against pathogens.

From: https://www.heartmath.org/assets/uploads/2015/01/ihm-feeds-food-for-thought-thanksgiving-gratitude.pdf

All of these benefits lead to better PHYSICAL, MENTAL, and OVERALL HEALTH! I also find people who do daily gratitude practices recover from/ prevent significant mental health issues. In addition, people find more motivation to create healthy eating and exercise habits!

Many people have  heard of gratitude journals. A little twist to this can go a long way and make it more meaningful. I like to invite people to list one thing each day they are grateful for and then note a few sentences of why that thing that you are grateful for happened to you. Now, this takes some imagination at times but play with it. If you stay consistent with this for a few weeks you will likely have new outlooks and other positive changes!

For example, today I am grateful that I woke up and my whole family was together. This happened to me because Shayna continues to love me and forgive me for my shortcomings. This happened to me because I’ve been entrusted as a parent to crazy but wonderful kiddos. I have been blessed with a career that allows me to provide for my family and have a heater in the home!

Thank you all for your influence in my life!

Drew

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