Gratitude Can Save Your Life

An Attitude of Gratitude Can Save Your Life

 

Know Stress; Know Dis-ease…No Stress; No Dis-ease.

 

A recent study out of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center revealed that chronic stress acts as a sort of fertilizer to cancer cells. If you know anything about the physiological effects of stress on the body from high blood pressure to increased cortisol levels and a compromised immune system you might say, “You think?” At least that’s what I said when I read the findings.

 

It was one week prior to my final divorce court date when I was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. Because I don’t believe in divorce (in my tribe you stay married for life) I was under some serious stress and my body was talking to me about it all. Have you ever broken down the word disease? Dis-ease: Feelings of uneasiness in the body due to perceived situations that are seen by the viewer as a potential threat to their safety (emotionally, physically or spiritually).

 

Two of your core needs in life are connection and safety. When you feel unsafe you feel dis­connected and you begin to stress out: “Oh no, I’m not safe; I might fail; I might be fired; I might be unseen, unheard, or overlooked.” One way to disconnect from feelings of insecurity is to connect to that which is secure within you—along with what you value most in life. What do you value most in your life? I would venture to guess that it exists beyond the five senses. Make a list of everything that you value most in this life and take time every day to nurture one or two things on that list. You will find that when you align yourself to that which you value most, you fertilize your sense of safety in all situations. This, in turn, releases a sense of ease in your body. Surely, a portion of the time you spend Skyping, texting, emailing and cell phoning can be used to create ease in your daily life, especially knowing it has the potential to save your life. When your priorities are clear your decisions are easy, which in turn lowers the stress and dis-ease level inside of your body. Remember, it’s your choice. One of my daily mantras is “people before things.” Each time I practice this throughout the day I am given the opportunity to choose between the essential and the nonessential. When you connect with the essential, the result is a life of value and inner peace. As Dr. David Hawkins points out, “Peace is the natural state when truth prevails.” Align yourself with truth, what is good, pure, excellent and praiseworthy.

 

Gratitude Can Save Your Life

 

Yes, it’s true that when you practice random acts of kindness and gratitude on a daily basis you get physiological benefits in the Earth suit:

 

  • Increased immune system
  • Improved cognitive performance
  • Increased energy
  • Lower heart rate
  • Balanced cortisol (hydrocortisone) levels, which result in less internal stress
  • More likely to live a longer and a more satisfied life
  • Laughter and inner joy resulting in decreased stress hormones
  • Lower blood pressure and
  • Diminished pain

 

Wow, that’s a lot of benefits! So, how often throughout your day do you practice gratitude and carry out random acts of kindness to those around you, including yourself?

 

When the cloud of depression appeared in the midst of my chemo treatments, I remember expe­rimenting with different techniques to see which one was the quickest at removing the clouds. Gratitude won me over every time. You cannot be depressed and grateful at the same time. Talk about a destructive cloud in life to remove. Whenever I shifted my focus from the “stressful situation” of the divorce, chemo, radiation and surgery to all that I was grateful for—down to my very heartbeat—the darkness lifted instantly. Try it. The next time you’re feeling down and out, do a random act of kindness to yourself. Start reviewing all that you are grateful for in life. Wake up to all the wondrous ways God will come to you today, perhaps in a smile, an open door, a moment in nature, or a song.

 

 

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