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Gratitude Changes Your Brain

How Gratitude Combined With EFT Tapping Changes Your Brain


thanksgiving poem and message dawson church

By Dawson Church, EFT TRN 1-3

It's the time of year when, traditionally, we reflect on the blessings of our lives. While so much of our attention is spent obsessing about what's wrong, in reality, for most of us, virtually everything is going right.

You woke up this morning.

Your heart is beating and your lungs are absorbing oxygen from the air of our gorgeous planet.

You have a body and it serves you faithfully.

You have a mind, and you can choose to fill it with thoughts of compassion, empathy, kindness, and creativity every day.

You have emotions, and you can cultivate those like love, happiness, and exuberance.

When you deliberately focus on what is going right in your life, you change your brain. When you pass a signal through a neural bundle for 20 seconds or more, you stimulate it to begin creating new synaptic connections. You increase its signaling capacity. It's like an electrical cable that gets bigger and bigger as more and more electricity flows through it.

When you have a good experience and don't savor it for those 20 seconds or more, the size of your electrical cable - the bundle of neurons in your brain that signals pleasure - does not increase.

But if you deliberately stretch out the good feelings for 20 seconds or more, you build increased capacity in your brain for carrying similar signals.

And why stop at 20 seconds?

When you're tapping and meditating, feeling good, filling your mind with loving thoughts, and having a wonderful experience, stretch it out for as long as possible.

Slow yourself way down today.

Waste as much time as possible gazing at the brilliant hues of a spectacular sunset.

Notice the kiss of the wind on your skin.

Savor the delicate flavors of a sip of your favorite tea.

Listen to the patter of rain on the rooftop.

Remember the last time you heard a baby laugh. Spend 60 seconds, or 5 minutes, stretching out the good feelings.

When you feel bad, tap, meditate, take a walk in nature, take a bath, read an inspiring book, or engage in your favorite self-nurturing activity. Bring yourself back to feeling good as soon as possible.

You deserve to feel good every single day.

Don't let anything stand in your way.

If you feel angry, ashamed, guilty, resentful, or any other negative emotion, let it go as soon as possible. Those neural circuits also get bigger the more they're used. Don't spend 20 seconds bulking them up. Use your capacity of conscious choice to shift gears as soon as you possible can.

When a neural bundle doesn't get used, our wise bodies notice.

Our brains start to dis-assemble those synaptic connections, a process called "pruning," within 3 weeks of continued disuse. When you quit using the neural bundles that convey the signals of resentment, blame, anger and other negative emotions, your brain begins to take those molecules apart to make others.

Our bodies are very efficient at adding neural capacity to the circuits we're using the most, and removing capacity from those we neglect.

So neglect all the negative emotions you possibly can.

Be grateful, beginning the moment you wake up in the morning. This season is a great time to remind ourselves to do this not just this time of year, but every moment we can.

As I write this, I'm picturing your face. I'm smiling and giving thanks for you. I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to connect with you. I'm grateful for being grateful. I'm sending loving energy from my heart to yours.

Please pass it on, first to every single cell in your body, then to every other person you know. I am so grateful for the value of giving thanks. Let's make it the theme of our lives, our work, our bodies, our communities, and our world!

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