Part ten in a ten part series - By Cindy Graham
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” -Robert Muller
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” -Melody Beady
As this series of daily intentions comes to an end, the final two topics are perhaps the most important of all. When I think of forgiveness and gratitude, I get a mental image of a heart – it just happens automatically for me. I suppose that it’s because both of them symbolize pure love – but they also are important to the physical well being of the heart!
The following is an excerpt from the Harvard Medical School Journal:
“Researchers found that mentally nursing a grudge puts your body through the same strains as a major stressful event: Muscles tense, blood pressure rises, and sweating increases. Better heart health: One study found a link between forgiving someone for a betrayal and improvements in blood pressure and heart rate, and a decreased workload for the heart. Stronger relationships: A 2004 study showed that women who were able to forgive their spouses and feel benevolent toward them resolved conflicts more effectively. Greater happiness: When you forgive someone, you make yourself—rather than the person who hurt you—responsible for your happiness. One survey showed that people who talk about forgiveness during psychotherapy sessions experience greater improvements than those who don't.”
The following is an excerpt from the Christine Northrup, M.D. website:
“Research shows that heart-centered feelings associated with gratitude, appreciation, and caring are health enhancing. When you find one thing, however small, to be thankful for and you hold that feeling for as little as 15–20 seconds, many subtle and beneficial physiologic changes take place in your body:
· Stress hormone levels of cortisol and norepinephrine decrease, creating a cascade of beneficial metabolic changes such as an enhanced immune system.
· Coronary arteries relax, thus increasing the blood supply to your heart.
· Heart rhythm becomes more harmonious, which positively affects your mood and all other bodily organs.
· Breathing becomes deeper, thus increasing the oxygen level of your tissues.
Other scientific evidence that gratitude improves health comes from research accumulated by Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. Emmons found that gratitude makes you healthier, smarter, and more energetic. He also showed that people practicing gratitude daily, for example, as writing in a gratitude journal, reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy than those who didn’t. If all of this happens when you focus for just 15–20 seconds on something that brings you pleasure, joy, or a feeling of gratitude, imagine what would happen to your health if you were able to cultivate thoughts of appreciation on a consistent and regularly basis.”
With all this positive information on just how powerful forgiveness and gratitude are to your health – why wouldn’t you want to embrace them to the fullest? The health benefits are a byproduct of being grateful for all the blessings in your life and for forgiving everyone around you.
A heavy heart is a burden. A heavy heart cannot forgive. A heavy heart will cannot be grateful. Lighten your load, heart and mind and explore how gratitude and forgiveness will change your life. It’s been proven that being in a state of gratitude and forgiveness will help you to make sense of your life and help you towards discovering your life purpose!
To put your intention of gratitude and forgiveness into action, it all begins with a daily intention. When you begin your day with the intention to be in a state of gratitude and forgiveness – you’ve set up your day to actually do it. Setting your daily intention is a personal commitment for the day. Once you have set it as an imprint in your mind – it will stay with you throughout the day.
Most people need something to keep them on track in practicing gratitude and forgiveness every day – so that they are aware of their intention to be in a state of gratitude and to identify moments where forgiveness can be extended. They need something to help them remember; something that provides reminders to stay focused on what they’ve set out to do. Solution: the meaning to pause® bracelet. This bracelet gently and privately vibrates every 90 (or 60) minutes with a friendly nudge / reminder to keep you on track of your daily intention of gratitude and forgiveness. This simple and inexpensive bracelet holds the key to keeping you focused on your daily intention and your commitment to be more grateful and forgiving!
For more information go to: www.meaningtopause.com
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi