What Happens When We Feel Thankful? A “Thank You” Celebration

What Happens When We Feel Thankful? A “Thank You” Celebration

pumpkins on a table

Hello and good day everyone! Happy Thanksgiving to those in the United States and a most happy and beautiful day (or night) to those outside the U.S. – wherever you may be! 

What a special day it is! 

Whether you’re helping prepare the traditional family meal for the holiday, getting ready to visit with your loved ones, or are simply doin’ yo thang today.. I honor and support you! 

I must share that I felt so excited for today when I woke from slumber! It’s a new day, the sun is shining, and Mother Earth continues to support us in all ways! 

What I find beautiful about this holiday is that it offers a time to practice conscious gratitude. The meaning of gratitude, as defined by the handy dandy Merriam-Webster dictionary, encompasses a feeling of appreciation or thanks. 

In a more broad sense, I feel that taking a moment or two to tune-in and open our awareness as to what we are grateful for is incredibly important. 

Whether it’s for the simple things (such as the items that we have) or deeper concepts (like waking up each morning and being alive), I feel that practicing gratitude goes a long way in our everyday lives! 

As per the saying: “where attention goes, energy flows”.

From my own practice with the law of attraction, I believe that by putting our attention towards what we feel grateful for (feel good about or even what makes us smile), the strong feeling plus the person, place or thing we have gratitude for attracts to us more and similar experiences in our daily lives.

I concluded yesterday and began today by offering gratitude and love to Mother Earth. In addition to this, I practiced this beautiful online yoga practice to connect even more deeply with gratitude.

brown wooden opened door shed

This yoga practice helped me be in the flow of gratitude and appreciation on so many levels!

Completing this practice opened the door to an awareness. An awareness of what I value and appreciate as well as how that influences my daily life!

It also inspired a curiosity of mine regarding how gratitude physically benefits us as individuals.

With my “student hat” on, I learned that in addition to metaphysics, scientists continue to find that practicing gratitude has numerous physiological and health benefits.

For example, a recent experimentation by Dr. Amit Sood found that practicing gratitude or appreciation can help with increasing your happiness, improving your health, improving quality of sleep, and can boost your immunity.

Researchers have found that gratitude can positively impact your health by rewiring your brain. For example, researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles found through MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanning that gratitude could be induced in individuals by simply receiving gifts. 

The MRI showed increased brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex. Both areas connect with moral and social cognition, reward, empathy, and value judgment. 

An additional study by Prathik Kini et al, found that gratitude also activates the hypothalamus (area of the brain regulating hormones for body temperature, emotional responses, appetite, and sleep). Plus, dopamine (hormone associated with happiness) was also found to be activated by the feeling of gratitude. 

In their experimentation…

“…a simple gratitude writing intervention was associated with significantly greater and lasting neural sensitivity to gratitude–subjects who participated in gratitude letter writing showed both behavioral increases in gratitude and significantly greater neural modulation by gratitude in the medial prefrontal cortex three months later.” 

I find it amazing that this simple feeling and state of being can influence our personal world and the world around us in body, mind and spirit! 

Practicing gratitude is a beautiful way of opening the door to feel even more connected with and in the flow of love on all levels!

And we can practice gratitude in so many ways! 

This includes:

  • Writing down in a journal (or the notes option in your cell phone) a few things we are grateful for
  • Medicine of movement (yoga, dance, or exercising at the gym) 
  • Meditation 
  • Visualization

And so much more!

As we move forward in this incredible day, I encourage you to perhaps take it a step further with an experiment of your own…

To begin practicing gratitude today and keep it going for the next five days, a week or two, a month or even into next year! 

fashion woman notebook pen

While doing so, observe the beautiful changes that occur in your life! 

I personally gave this a try and let me tell you…I was in awe with what I discovered from this practice! Especially with how I felt and the lovely experiences as well as opportunities that came forth to me!

Perhaps as you give it a try, you may feel inspired to continue the practice of feeling appreciation and gratitude up until one year from today (next Thanksgiving)!

There are so many amazing opportunities that await us! Being in the state of gratitude is one of several ways to be in the flow of them!

achievement confident free freedom

Wherever you may be and whatever you have on your “to-do” list on this fantastic day … I extend to you my love and I’m cheering you on! 

Today I’m taking the opportunity to follow my inner guidance – spending time out in nature connecting with and honoring Mother Earth (with my fur baby of course)!

I’m so grateful for you, dear friend, I honor you and support you!

From my heart to yours… I bid you a gorgeous day filled with magic and so  much love!

Until next time, peace be with you!

…Namaste

Article Reference: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.040

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