The Coolest Thing about Gratitude.

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on Nov 27, 2014
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human heart

By now, most of us have heard the news: grateful people are happier, healthier and generally more fulfilled.

And while these are all really great side effects of gratitude, for me, one of the coolest things about gratitude is the way it affects the heart. The heart creates an electromagnetic field that expands up to five feet from the body. Its electrical field is 60 times stronger in amplitude than that of the brain.

Studies show that when people cultivate positive feelings, the heart’s frequency changes and its waves become smoother and more consistent, while anxiety or stress caused waves to be shorter and less organized. Though most positive feelings were capable of affecting the heart in this way, researchers noted that gratitude changed the heart’s rhythm more easily and faster than any of the others.

What’s more is that this frequency can even “entrain” hearts and brains nearby. It’s especially likely that the heart with smoothest, most “coherent” frequency will be the heart that other people sync up with. So if you’re cultivating gratitude, it’s probable that you’re changing the feeling state of those around you for the better too.

Basically, even when we aren’t aware of it, our heart is constantly communicating with those around us. But as complex as it all may seem, intuitively, it seems that humans have been aware of this chatting between hearts for quite some time.

It may be the reason we say we’re having a “heart to heart” with someone when we’re engaged in an intimate, sincere conversation.

Researchers have reported that hearts between lovers sync even when the lovers aren’t touching or conversing. The same goes for heart frequencies of unborn babies and their mothers.

So when Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with,” he made an interesting point indeed. Our bodies are talking. And physiologically, it’s gratitude whose message is the loudest. We’re affecting each other in ways we may have never even pondered.

Choose your company wisely, but find comfort in the idea that gratitude has a way of trumping all. Keep gratitude flowing in your own heart, and you can change the world around you without lifting a finger.

Ode to Thanks
by Pablo Neruda

Thanks to the word that says thanks!
Thanks to thanks,
word
that melts
iron and snow!
The world is a threatening place
until
thanks
makes the rounds
from one pair of lips to another,
soft as a bright
feather
and sweet as a petal of sugar,
filling the mouth with its sound
or else a mumbled
whisper.
Life becomes human again:
it’s no longer an open window.
A bit of brightness
strikes into the forest,
and we can sing again beneath the leaves.
Thanks, you’re the medicine we take
to save us from
the bite of scorn.
Your light brightens the altar of harshness.
Or maybe
a tapestry
known
to far distant peoples.
Travelers
fan out
into the wilds,
and in the jungle
of strangers,
merci
rings out
while the hustling train
changes countries,
sweeping away borders,
then spasibo
clinging to pointy
volcanoes, to fire and freezing cold,
or danke, yes! and gracias, and
the world turns into a table:
a single word has wiped it clean,
plates and glasses gleam,
silverware tinkles,
and the tablecloth is as broad as a plain.
Thank you, thanks,
for going out and returning,
for rising up
and settling down.
We know, thanks,
that you don’t fill every space-
you’re only a word-
but
where your little petal
appears
the daggers of pride take cover,
and there’s a penny’s worth of smiles.

~

Relephant:

The Things a Human Body can Do.

“You have the wrong body for Ballet.”

How to Become a Gratitude Junkie.

~

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Author: Lucy Animus

Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photo: Brick Red/Flickr


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About Lucy Animus

Lucy Animus is a curious girl from the Midwest who grew up skipping rocks on the Mississippi and pancaking pennies on the railroad tracks. She’s just trying to figure this being human/human being shit out. Writing and yoga help. Answers may also be found whilst snuggling fur friends. But always, it’s that soft shaky voice of love that really spills the beans on being. To connect with Lucy, check out her site.

Comments

15 Responses to “The Coolest Thing about Gratitude.”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this. Neruda is awesome, and so are you for sharing his words among your own!! Deep gratitude.

  2. I love this article and agree totally on how stress affects the heart. Thank you!! http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/12/facing-dea

  3. Tara says:

    Brilliant and very true. Love this article! Thank you!

  4. Leah says:

    Gratitude is always satisfying

  5. Eu-Cigs says:

    “‘Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” — Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887). Gratefulness is correlated with life satisfaction and happiness.

  6. Dallas says:

    Wonderful synopsis of and introduction to the ideas of the HeartMath folks (their 1st book published circa 1999). I glommed on to them from writings of Joseph Chilton Pearce who is big on the heart and its electrical field, the 'aura', as a sixth (or actually first) sense.

    The HeartMath approach includes care, appreciation, non-judgment, and forgiveness along with gratitude as the power tools of the heart, that when used properly can help us heal ourselves and the world; and it includes so much more. I get the same sense of direction from the works of Pearce.

    Your article is a cornucopia of connections to the newest ideas being explored by HeartMath folks and others. Thank you for kicking my mental butt into this new century of possibilities surrounding the heart.

  7. Tommy says:

    Having a heart that desires healing gives gratitude a place to express itself. Thanks for the encouragement to look around.

  8. Tony G says:

    Fascinating read. I'd love to know your sources so I can learn more (even if it's just one source!). Thanks for brightening up the day!

  9. Jane says:

    I think I teared up a little while reading this. I've been feeling incredibly grateful for the people in my life lately, and I often worry that I don't convey it enough. But with this, I now know that my feelings have reached them and touched them somehow. :)

  10. Christie says:

    Loved the article; loved the poem. I’ve never read Nedruda before but had heard of him. Of to the library to read more of his poetry. Namaste.

  11. Dori says:

    Thank you for this lightning info about our own hearts. I love it. Gratitude to you!

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