If you have a choice to grumble, blame or be grateful, why would you choose gratitude? What’s in it for you, to be feeling and expressing thankfulness, whether or not your life is going well? (There is always something to be grateful for…)
What if the admonition to ‘Be grateful!’ is much more than a goody–two–shoes approach to daily living?
The answer is — gratitude is one of the powerful positive emotions that each sets up a cascade of healng, protein-supportive biochemicals in our body. …like happiness, inspiration, joy, love…
Conversely, focussing on our stresses, however, sends a cascade of toxic biochemicals throughout our body.
These are designed to be short-term to cope with a stress situation, then for the body to return to a normal balance. However, too many of us are longer-term focussed on our stresses,– even though we do have some choice in what we’re thinking. Constant negative thinking is a path to illness. Why?
‘The circulation of these stress hormones through your system on a regular basis will compromise your immune system, weaken your organs, age you prematurely and contribute to activating genes that …are counterproductive,’ writes Dawson Church Ph. D. in his ground-breaking award-winning book on epigenetics, ‘The Genie In Your Genes’. (Simplistically, epigenetics is the study of the signals that turn genes on or off.)
So, long-term, if you find yourself often or endlessly grumbling or blaming, hey, put yourself on Red Alert for your health!
Moment-by-moment genetic fluctuations
Old-style science taught that our genes were an immutable blueprint for our cells’ activities. Genetic determinism captured the public mind for decades — even though it was never scientifically proven, the iron grip of the idea that genes determine who we are became a legend. Now the new scientific discipline of epigenetics reveals that mostly, we are not helpless victims of the genes we inherited.
‘In reality, genes contribute to our characteristics but do not determine them,’ Dr. Church continues.
‘As we think our thoughts and feel our feelings, our bodies respond with a complex array of shifts. Each thought or feeling unleashes a particular cascade of biochemicals in our organs. Each experience triggers genetic changes in our cells.
‘Along with the practical evidence accumulating from pioneers in this new medicine and new psychology, scientists are discovering the precise pathways by which changes in human consciousness produce changes in human bodies. These new discoveries have revolutionary implications for health and healing.’
What choices do we actually have?
When life is stressful, how can we stop thinking stressful thoughts?
Turning gene research into therapy, new emerging techniques are classified as energy medicine. A leading system is Energy Psychology, which typically work faster than traditional therapies to calm us and facilitate healthier mental/emotional perspectives. In other words, to get the good biochemicals flowing…
‘They’ (energy therapies) ‘are at the cutting edge of science, as experiential evidence stacks up to provide objective demonstration of their effectiveness,’ Dr. Church adds. (By 2020 more than 100 scientific studies support EFT’s effectiveness.)
One of these, which he endorses and teaches, is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT tapping). It is an acupressure-and-mindfulness system utilised by both lay people and healthcare professionals. for both casual and deep release of stresses and stressful thinking. (By 2020 more than 100 scientific studies support EFT’s effectiveness.)
A gratitude event. Dr. Church relates in his book how, by applying an EFT technique, he facilitated an employee to move from misery over a family ‘nightmare situation’ to peace in two minutes.
His comment: ‘Even after witnessing many of these interventions, and doing them myself often, my left brain still has trouble grasping the evidence before my eyes.’
(Reference: Science author Dawson Church Ph.D, is the founder of the U.S. National Institute for Integrative Healthcare.)
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