When you are really feeling poorly, it is difficult to feel grateful, and yet it is one of the most important times to count your blessings. Why? When you allow the pain to cause you to be worried or upset, your energy field closes down and it is difficult for any treatment to get through your fears. Gratitude opens the heart and when the heart is open, healing energy is most effective.

Gratitude also has a magical way of lifting you out of your discomfort, at the very least—for a little while. Have you ever noticed how it can lift your spirits and take your mind off your pain when you receive a gift from someone that stimulates your gratefulness? Your own experiences can demonstrate the positive impact gratitude can have on your wellness, plus studies are demonstrating that gratitude, or an open-hearted state, can actually improve physical health.

Institute of HeartMath biologist, Glen Rein, conducted a study in which people went into a state of heartfelt appreciation for unconditional love. He discovered that these people were able to affect DNA in a test tube, altering the winding and unwinding of the DNA. Further, they were able to affect their electrocardiograms (ECGs). When they were holding loving or appreciative thoughts, their heart rhythms became more coherent.

If you focus on gratitude rather than on complaints, you are likely to find that you have a more positive outlook on your life. And this has been studied too. Robert Emmons, from the University of California at Davis, has conducted studies on positive psychology and discovered that people focusing on gratitude were more optimistic about their future and felt better about their lives. He and his colleagues discovered that gratitude focused people suffering from neuromuscular diseases got more sleep, got to sleep sooner and felt more refreshed in the morning. He also discovered.

So what can you do to introduce more gratitude into your life?

Write down what you are grateful for every day.
When you are writing it down you are affirming it twice–first when the event happened and secondly when you write it down. Write down three to five things. Write at the same time every day so it becomes a part of your regular routine to focus on gratitude.

Keep your language positive.
When you hear yourself start to complain, stop yourself, whether you are complaining quietly inside or outwardly. Stop yourself whether you are putting yourself down or someone else, or a situation. Focus your attention on the lesson you are learning instead. Then state and feel gratitude for the lesson you are learning.

Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt.
Most of the time people are doing their best, even if “best” doesn’t seem like enough to you. All of us are challenged, and we often keep the biggest challenges hidden from view. So let go of your assumptions about what is good enough and give everybody the benefit of the doubt. You’ll feel better about yourself and everyone around you.

Take a gratitude walk.
This is one of my personal favorites. Schedule a time every day to get outside, where you can enjoy the soothing, harmonious nature of Mother Earth. This means putting yourself in the proximity of plants, trees, water, or grass. Breathe in deeply with gratitude for the beauty of earth. Then reflect on everything else you are grateful for in that moment. Do so until you feel at ease and positively charged.

Give thanks for your healing.
Even if it has been a rough day, be grateful for any moments that were pain-free, fun, meaningful, or life giving. If you aren’t seeing a lot of progress yet, you can be grateful for the treatment you are using and for the way that it is helping you in unseen ways. You can write your gratitude in your journal, acknowledge it during your gratitude walk, or include it in your prayers of thanks before your meals.

Find reasons to be grateful throughout the day.
Little moment throughout our days provide lots of reasons to be grateful. A kiss, a hug, sunshine, rain, a pleasant phone call, a cheerful cashier, a good night’s rest, a great movie, a cup of hot tea…you get the idea. Life is full of lovely moments when you encourage yourself to notice them.

Gratitude is a doorway to heaven on earth. The more grateful we become, the more we enjoy life. Bodies responds to that enjoyment, rewarding us with greater health and well-being. Gratitude has been called one of the greatest prayers that can ever be said. It is also one of the greatest healing remedies.

Author's Bio: 

Misa Hopkins is the author of the best-selling book, “The Root of All Healing: 7 Steps to Healing Anything”, which has been named the first-aid handbook for the new 21st Century consciousness. She is also Spiritual Director and founder of New Dream Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to global spiritual family and honoring the sacred feminine. With over 30 years of teaching and training experience, including teaching hundreds of healers, and now as a spiritual counselor, Hopkins is an astute observer of human motivation and potential. Her observations about the healing progress of her clients, students and friends, and her own miraculous healings led her to ground-breaking conclusions about why people remain ill, even when they are trying to become well. Hopkins recognized that illness may actually meet unconscious needs you aren’t even aware exist. In her book, workshops and articles, she provides insights about how to break through the limits of illness to experience the freedom and joy of wellness.