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Mar 23, 2009

"Gratitude is noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary. And then taking the nanosecond to feel it." --Karen Krakower Kaplan

Effects of Gratitude on the Body

Researchers have found that when we think about someone or something we really appreciate and experience the feeling that goes with the thought, the parasympathetic -- calming-branch of the autonomic nervous system -- is triggered. This pattern when repeated bestows a protective effect on the heart. The electromagnetic heart patterns of volunteers tested become more coherent and ordered when they activate feelings of appreciation. There is evidence that when we practice bringing attention to what we appreciate in our lives, more positive emotions emerge, leading to beneficial alterations in heart rate variability. Neurobiologically, gratitude is nested within the social emotions, along with awe, wonder, "elevation" and pride. It can be both practiced and experienced.

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Try some of the "Seven Ways to Gratitude," courtesy of the University of Texas Health Science Center. More ...



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