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That Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude is one of the simplest mindfulness practices AND:

- it boosts certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and seratonin, which build feelings of happiness.

- it triggers our parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the relaxation response, aka the “rest and digest” state. It’s in this state that the body can focus on immune processes, digestion, the reproductive system and many other deeper systems that get ignored when we’re in fight, flight or freeze mode.

- it gets easier with practice!

By practicing gratitude, we create an anti-depressant brain chemistry in our own bodies. We help our body take care of us by giving it time to focus on deep processes. We get out of our negative thought patterns. With repetition, holding ourselves in a place of gratitude gets easier and easier and eventually becomes a habit. Then, it evolves into a way of being and a constant and consistent aspect of who you are and how you exist in this world. It's a beautiful process, and one you can start right now. It's also one of the 10 principles of Radical Remission and overall health set forth by Dr. Kelly A. Turner in her book "Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds" and her follow up book "Radical Hope". She includes it in her principle of "Increasing Positive Emotions". You can find more about her work on her website,


First, consider how you feel. Now, set a timer for 3 minutes. Start to consider the things around you, and say thank you to each of them individually. Let yourself be grateful they exist, whatever they are: thank you, socks, for keeping my feet cozy. Thank you, desk, for giving me a work space. Thank you, tree, for shading my window in the middle of the day. Thank you, airplane mode, for giving me uninterrupted time in which to write. Thank you, air, for filling my lungs. Continue until the timer goes off.

Again, consider how you feel. Do you feel lighter or brighter? More peaceful or calm? More joyous or grounded or centered or alert? More vibrant or spacious?

Remember this. Do it again and again and again.


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