Community//

How Being Thankful Affects You

There is a significant bio-chemical response that takes place in your body when you're thankful, one that can literally keep you healthy and disease-free.

Thankfulness is an important part of happiness

In a couple of months it will the time of year in the U.S. for families to gather together for the Thanksgiving holiday and many choose to have dinner and share the things for which they are thankful.  You may find it surprising, but the act of expressing thankfulness and gratitude has an enormous affect on your body and mental state.

When a person expresses thankfulness, the brain releases an electro-chemical “soup” that affects the body in a positive way.  One of the most important components of this “soup” is its ability to affect the heart.  Remember how your heart beats fast when stressed or anxious?  Remember how it beats slow when you feel thankful, peaceful, and comfortable?  That’s due to the time it takes for a full heartbeat cycle, which lasts around .8 seconds.  When stressed, this time decreases.  When thankful, it increases by up to 1.20 seconds.  That’s a significant increase of 50%!  Why is that important?

The longer the full cycle time of the heartbeat, the more coherence a person is with their mind and heart.  You see, the brain has over 1 billion neurons and the heart has approximately 40,000 neurons.  The neurons of the heart have been scientifically shown to be the true thoughts and feelings of a person, whereas the brain neurons are thoughts and feelings that have been programmed.  People in this state of coherence are able to make better decisions and experience the sense of happiness and satisfaction so many people chase after.  Yet, achieving them is much easier than most people think and come from ways most people don’t consider. 

For instance, take a moment, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breathing. Now, imagine breathing directly through your heart, instead of your lungs. Notice how the breaths are slow and rhythmic and how you get a sense of alignment with your thoughts. There are instruments that measure the coherence of a person’s heart and mind and, while in this exercise, the rate of coherence rises, indicating a healthy state.

If you would you like to bring your heart and mind into a coherent state; building resilience, increasing energy, and promoting focus, mental clarity and emotional balance, feel free to contact me!

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    10 Ways to Teach Children Gratitude

    by Is This Normal
    Westend61/ Getty Images
    Well-Being//

    Gratitude Journals Never Worked For Me. Here’s What Did.

    by Ryan Turpin
    Community//

    simple moments

    by Lorie VandenBerg

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.