2019 Gratefuls 17 & 16: The science behind being grateful

A good mate, and former boss, characterises himself as a dirt man. When we worked together, we’d have long conversations comparing his need for facts vs my comfort with faith. Our mutual respect was tinged with a dash of incredulity, neither one of us completely buying into the other’s point of view. The state of gratitude, although much talked about in the bible, isn’t tied to religious beliefs. Science and religion still seem to be either/or prospects – although the guys at Rosikon Press in Poland with their series of books on various religious miracles are doing a good job of showing that some things simply defy scientific explanation. So I’ll admit to being curious when the lovely AT introduced me to Bruce H. Lipton and his work on bridging science and spirit.

Author of The Biology of Belief and winner of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, Lipton turn the scientific world on its head, back in his days at Stanford.

His research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating though the membrane, controlled the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off. His discoveries, which ran counter to the established scientific view that life is controlled by the genes, presaged one of today’s most important fields of study, the science of epigenetics.

In a nutshell, he’s espousing that the mind controls so much more than previously thought and that attitude is a powerful player in physical health and wellbeing. In this video, he talks about the science of gratitude…

Gratitude is expressed as a primary emotion. It is a state of mind translated by the brain into complementary neurochemistry that is secreted into the blood stream. The chemistry of gratitude energizes the body and releases a wave of euphoric sensation, a sense of harmony with all that is.

Sounds so simple. Since I started this grateful series back in 2012 and embarked on a conscious journey of gratitude, life has been pretty damn good. Admittedly, some days it takes creative energy to find things to be grateful for. I struggle to find my ten things and find myself being grateful for little things like having just enough flour left to bake so I didn’t have to go to the shop. Or not missing the train I was late setting out for. Or making the post office just before it closed. Other days, the gratitude comes more easily. Sometimes I’m grateful for one of God’s greatest gifts – unanswered prayers.

But no one is keeping score or marking the quality of my lists. What’s important is the practice of gratitude and the state of being grateful. Am definitely a proponent.

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