Gratitude has been used as a method of emotional balance by not only the Taoists. For thousands of years, this has been used but also in many religions and cultures as a prayer before a meal without even realizing it is a method of emotional balance. Now the science shows how important gratitude is for health, longevity, and happiness. Gratitude is another form of neurohacking. I wanted to understand why gratitude meditation was so important to the Taoists. I wanted to know if there was a science behind it, and yes, there is! Please take a moment to be grateful to be reading this article, trust me you will understand why by the time you finish it. Neuroscience has shown that being grateful changes brain chemistry and function.
- Improves performance
- Boost your happiness
- Enhance romantic relationships
- Improves sleep
- alleviates inflammation (a proven marker of centenarians)
- Reduces aggression and stress
- Improves mental strength
- Reduces cortisol release
- Lessens anxiety, helping us tap into the parasympathetic state
- Reduces depression
- Shifts the heart’s rhythm
- Increases HRV (heart rate variability)
- Improves social behavior and connection
- Increases resilience
- Motivate you to do exercise like Qigong
- Boost your immune system
- Daily gratitude journaling
- Write a gratitude letter
- Count the gratitude you have
- Thank the subject of your gratitude
Sit or stand comfortably with your hands over your lower belly (Dan Tian). Close your eyes, touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Take a cleansing breath, by breathing in through your mouth fresh air, fresh Qi, into your lungs, and exhale any pollution, illness, or negativity. Focus on your third eye, the space in between your eyebrows. While taking a deep breath in focus on one thing you are really grateful for. As you breathe out, focus on feeling grateful.
Sit or stand comfortably with your hands over your lower belly (Dan Tian). Close your eyes, touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Take a cleansing breath, by breathing in through your mouth fresh air, fresh Qi, into your lungs, and exhale any pollution, illness, or negativity.
Bring your awareness to your heart. Breathe in red color and the feeling of peace and contentedness.
Breathe into your lungs a white color and the feeling of happiness and joy.
Breathe into the liver a green color, while focusing on the feeling of forgiveness and kindness.
Breathe into the spleen a yellow/brown soil color focusing on the feeling of being nurtured.
Breathe into the kidneys a dark blue/black color focusing on the feeling of courage.
With each of these breaths, you focus not only on the feeling but also on feeling grateful for the feeling. If it is challenging to evoke the feeling, think of someone or something that evokes that feeling or emotion. For example, for the spleen when feeling nurtured you could focus on a specific person who makes you feel nurtured when they hug you. I like to feel the earth and sky nurturing me with the soft ground and the warm sun.
When breathing into the liver you can focus on being kind to someone.