When I presented at a conference in 2001 in New Mexico, one of the other speakers was Larry Dossey, MD. At that time, he shared that over 1,500 studies had already been done proving the validity of gratitude to change not only our mental state but our physical state. More recently, I read a study that involved transplant patients. The researchers dived the group into two. Both made journal entries about physical reactions, pain, etc. One also was told to write 5 things they were grateful for each day. The latter group had statistically better outcomes.
In my own life, I have had a much better immune response by working with gratitude. 10 minutes of fear (anger, judgment, blame, shame, etc are ultimately fear-based) produces a six-hour decline in the production of salivary immunoglobulinA (this is an easy to test immune marker that functions as a first-line defense against airborne infections.) Conversely, a 10 minute experience of gratitude produces a six-hour increase in the immune marker.
Continued use of gratitude and using it to repair my system after a shock or normal-life flare of anger or anxiety, has done wonders for my overall wellbeing and BP control.
Apparently, those shamanic cultures that make gratitude a primary feature of their daily lives are on the right track!
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