I have a personal story to share with you in today’s post, you will never find true health until you find this first…
It’s a story about how I finally got healthy. How I finally turned my roller-coaster health, my heart, and life around, and found complete and lasting peace.
No, I wasn’t born a passionate juice-loving-chiropractor-drugless-practitioner-wellness-advocate.
In fact, it took a serious bout of meningitis to awaken me to my true calling; to help me find my true health.
But it wasn’t just eating well, taking supplements, aromatherapy, and chiropractic that helped me finally recover.
No. It was when I realized I had deep emotional and internal spiritual battles that only I could fix. Only then could I begin to heal.
The solution I found that helped me fix myself was, gratitude.
Choosing a life led by gratitude and happiness are what strengthened my immune system and had the most profound effect on my health.
No more nights of my husband finding me on the bathroom floor where I had vomited all night, no more migraines, no more severe relapses.
I had to make a choice. And after much soul searching, I chose to live with an attitude of thankfulness.
And I finally got better for GOOD.
The Gratitude/Fulfillment/Happiness Loop
It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? I mean, everyone says they want to be happy and fulfilled…so what’s stopping you?
Well, we can’t exactly find happiness OR fulfillment without being grateful, can we? The two rely on each other like people and plants.
Gratitude brings fulfillment, fulfillment brings happiness. It really is that simple.
Full at Last!
I never fully appreciated this wisdom until I started a gratitude journal.
Another weird little health “quirk” about me, is I used to eat and eat and eat without ever feeling the sensation of fullness or satiety.
My dad used to tell me that I had a hollow leg. I was just never, EVER full no matter how much I put down.
Many years ago, I was struggling with some health issues and started a gratitude journal to see if it would help.
Two days later, my husband Jeremy and I were out to dinner, and I had this uncomfortable sensation in my stomach. Seeing the confusion on my face, Jeremy asked me what was wrong.
I said “I think I am full.”
He chuckled and said he had never heard me say that.
So I sat there, in amazement of this new feeling of food in my stomach.
By consciously shifting my focus from ingratitude to gratitude, and expressing that appreciation daily in my journal, I started feeling fulfilled…from my heart, all the way to my stomach.
My physiology changed within two days.
It happened to me that fast…and it can for you too.
I recommend a gratitude journal to many of my patients who just can’t get passed a health issue. And it has made a profound impact on their lives too…I hope they will share some of their testimonials with you in the comments section below.
The Cellular Science of Gratitude…Beyond Good Intentions
Beyond my own experience with gratitude, recent research has proven the connection between an attitude of gratitude and increased immunity, threshold for pain, and longevity.
Here are a couple inspiring studies on the topic.
In a University of California/University of Miami study, participants were randomly asked to either keep a weekly gratitude journal, a journal of daily hassles that distressed them, or a neutral journal of experiences.
After ten weeks, the gratitude group felt better about their lives and were 25% happier than the hassled group. They had few health issues, and exercised an average of 1 ½ hours more.
Later, the group was asked to keep a daily gratitude journal. By increasing the frequency of journaling, the group reported an expansion in their concern to offer emotional support to others. Their goodwill, kindness, and empathy, or “pro-social” skills increased.
Studies have also found that a lack of gratitude directly impacts levels of depression.
Philip Watkins, clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.
Kindness and Goodwill—the Universal Side-Effects of Gratitude
I think Wayne Dyer, PH.D., internationally renowned author, speaker, and TV personality in the field of self-development, explains the physiological effects of kindness best in this quote.
“The positive effect of kindness on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain has been proved in research studies. Serotonin is a naturally occurring substance in the body that makes us feel more comfortable, peaceful, and even blissful. In fact the role of most anti-depressants is to stimulate the serotonin production to alleviate depression. Research has shown that a simple act of kindness directed toward another improves the functioning of the immune system and stimulates production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness and the person extending the kindness. Even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness have similar beneficial results. Imagine this: kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved.”
Change you…Change the World
Couldn’t everyone in the world use more kindness and goodwill?
Isn’t this what we teach our children to strive for?
Can you see how the simple act of shifting your consciousness from “I need more” to “I’m grateful for” could change your life, your family’s life, and the WORLD AROUND YOU?
Gratitude, Fulfillment, Happiness, Kindness.
The ever-illusive quest for true health can start with one simple switch in consciousness.
I hope the research and my own stories have inspired you to discover your true health.
Start a gratitude journal, find happiness and fulfillment, and share your kindness with the world.
It has changed my life and gotten me where I am today…I know it can do the same for you.
Start today. Be grateful. Be happy.
And, as always, please share and uplift our fellow readers with your stories of gratitude in the comments section below.