Try this gratitude practice to boost the immune system

Lots of folks are trying to boost their immune system lately. Eating healthy and exercising can strengthen it, but how about this simple gratitude practice?

I have been feeling a little blue today–the first time in a couple of weeks at least–and felt guided by Spirit to try this.

Take a piece of paper and list five things you’re grateful for.

I named two special friends, a walk on the road, and conversations with my mom, daughter and son. (Guess that equals six.)

Then I sat quietly and felt the first friend’s energy in my body. I could locate a warm glow near my heart as I thought of her. How very much she means to me. How delighted I am to have a friend like her.

Instead of just thinking and simply saying the gratitude words–try feeling them in the body. Extend the feeling-glow of thankfulness for five, ten, twenty seconds. A minute would be lovely! Breathe into the body-feeling of the friend’s spirit, allowing gratitude to fill the chest, the torso, maybe even down to the toes. When finished, sweep your eyes gently from left to right a couple of times. Maybe even roll the shoulders.

Doesn’t this feel wonderful?

I then pictured the second friend and felt the warmth of gratitude and appreciation radiating in the body. Breathed into the heart. Imagined the friend’s face (as much as possible). The body relaxed, softened, sighed. Ahhh, dear sweet friend, thank you for existing and shining light into this day!

A few minutes later offered thanks for the lovely walk on the road. Brought back the sense of wind on the face, snow in the ditch, boots, winter hat, dried ferns and wildflowers. Felt the gratitude in my heart: thank you, thank you, thank you. For legs and health to walk. For beautiful nature all around. I could feel the wind in my lungs, the gratitude surrounding like sweet nectar.

Then I called back love for my mom, son and daughter (and our rich conversations) and and felt the luminescence of appreciation fill this body. The heart whispered muchas gracias, merci, grazie, oh yes.

This gratitude practice–I am sure–soothes and heals and strengthens the immune system with spiritual glow. The white blood cells, antibodies and lymphatic system sing with the melody of grateful waves of connection and love. (Even Mayo Clinic says so: To improve your health, practice gratitude. To learn more about gratitude research click here.)

What are five things you’re grateful for today? And let me know if you try this body-centered heart-gratitude practice, and how it feels. I want to remember this always. To allow gratitude to fill up any empty tanks with golden glow. To know it’s healing rivers upon rivers flowing throughout the immune system.

Day 14 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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26 Responses to Try this gratitude practice to boost the immune system

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    And to think you are no longer feeling blue. 🙂

  2. leelah saachi says:

    Paolo , my teacher and trainer in expressive Arts Therapy. Remembering sitting beside him in the circle -almost ever – and the PEACE that followed us when we strolled through a Swizz landscape and he evaluated my paper in a way that made my heart blossom with joy and gratitude. And now, only his voice – english with very Swizz accent – a sing-songy voice – and how close Nature was when we walked there by the Thunersee.
    THank you Kathy, what a precious practice this is – embodying make all the difference♥

    • Kathy says:

      Leelah, how beautiful your time with Paolo! Thank you for sharing this–I could feel it. The embodying of this does seem to be what is so important–a lesson I keep learning all the time. Thank you. So grateful you stopped by today.

  3. Stacy says:

    I am going to do this today. As you said, not just name them, but feel them. XOXO

  4. Robin says:

    Ahhhh. Such a wonderful practice. Life is so sweet when we can feel gratitude in the heart space. Holding you there now, grateful for you and for this practice that you shared. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, I never thought of this until it unexpectedly popped in the mind yesterday. Bringing it all down to the heart space, the body. Thank you also for being you!

  5. Larissa says:

    So yummy ❤

  6. Susan D. Durham says:

    Oh, how I love this. Every word breathes gratitude, peace, and love. Thank you for reminders about gratitude, and its magnificent healing powers. My morning was filled with nothing but gifts of love, including yours. I am still basking in the glow, and beaming gratitude. How I treasure you.

    • Kathy says:

      We have exchanged so much in the last twenty four hours that all I can think to write in response to your beautiful comment is xoxoxo. Treasuring you as well. ❤

  7. Barb says:

    I totally believe that a grateful mind and heart affects the physical body. Sometimes, when I have negative thoughts and feelings, I try to encourage myself to find the positive. They both exist, of course – I must just open myself to the possibilities. Thank you, Kathy, for this reminder.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, sometimes I can forget to focus on what I’m grateful for. It can be easy to get swept up in what challenges us. Appreciating you right now. ❤

  8. Joanne says:

    I remember you writing a FaceBook post a few years ago which advised everyone to write down what we were grateful for. I had woken up that day feeling crappy, so I tried it – and it worked! Just identifying the “thing” you are grateful for improves your state of mind, even before adding the “feeling” of that wonderful “thing”. 🙂
    I’m heading out into the garden today, and as always, I will stop to appreciate every glistening leaf and beautiful flower. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Hope you had an enjoyable day in the garden appreciating every beautiful growing thing there. I am going to be practicing this gratitude attitude a lot in upcoming days, most probably. If I can remember! I think it’s cool that we can all encourage each other. (And yes, it seems a bunch of us participated in that FB gratitude practice for awhile a few years ago. One person said it changed her life immensely.)

      • Joanne says:

        If you can remember to keep practicing gratitude every day for a while, it becomes a habit! There are varying opinions on how long it takes to form a habit too, but that’s another story. A change of attitude can definitely change a person’s life – the main theory is that you can’t change anyone or anything outside of yourself because you cannot control anything other than yourself. So by changing your own attitude, you are exerting control over the one and only thing in the world you can control – youself! It makes so much sense when you think about it and practice gratitude. 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          I do believe what you say here, Joanne–we can’t really change anything outside of ourselves but we can change (or attempt to change) our own attitude. And then sometimes, just sometimes, the world changes, too. I am grateful for that.

  9. debyemm says:

    Generally speaking, gratitude is a consistent practice for me – even just taking a bill I can pay out to the mailbox – I’m grateful to have the means to do that. Your practice is very nice, very experiential too.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks for sharing how gratitude is with you, Deb. That sounds lovely, being grateful to even pay a bill. I forget to do this sometimes, and can get caught up in challenging hours or days. These are the times when I need to consciously remember that gratitude can walk alongside it all too.

  10. What an awesome practice, Kathy. The spiritual can also be very practical, no? It is beautiful. Glad you feel better. Please have a cup of tea to be extra sure!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Markus and Micah! Yes, for me it has to be a “marriage” of the spiritual and practical. One without the other doesn’t feel quite right in the body, mind or spirit. Heading for a cup of tea soon!

  11. When I was a child, my grandmother had a large embroidery sampler framed and hanging in her bedroom. It had the numbers from one to ten and then the question, “Without numbers how would we count our blessings?” And then it had all the letters of the alphabet followed by another question, “Without words how would we tell of them to others?” There were also embroidered flowers and birds, it was an amazing creation. But anyhow, being grateful was her modus operandi and she gently taught us to look at life that way, too.

    At the end of my yoga DVD the instructor leads a short meditation and encourages us to think about what we’re grateful for. That’s kind of when I started to learn to feel gratitude in my body and not just in my mind. Or, since the body and the mind are one, it made gratitude an even fuller experience. I loved this post, Kathy. It truly resonated with me and I am most grateful for your deep sharing.

    • Kathy says:

      What a wonderful way to teach grandchildren how to count their blessings, Barbara. And I can tell that her wisdom and embroidery sampler was passed down to you–because you seem to live this gratitude attitude. Glad to hear that you have been able to move gratitude into your felt-sense body experience. That seems such an important step. Also happy you resonated with this!

  12. Kathy as always your posts are so encouraging and insightful! I have always believed in the power of gratitude, count your blessings daily, nightly, always! I had a friend who had a blessing/prayer box and it helped her through tough times. It is so helpful to write down what we are thankful for and our hearts prayers, especially when you can go back years later and see how prayers were answered. Today my five things I am grateful for, my time in the U.P. , my community here in the foothills of N.C., my children and grandchildren, my church family, my home, my health, your blogs. Uh oh, did I go over? Maybe but that’s always a blessing, isn’t it?! I do believe being grateful rids our hearts of anxiety and hate and helps our immune system, much needed in these challenging times! I love starting my day in the word and in prayer…..and ending my day the same, it is such a comfort and gives me a peace I hope I’m able to share with others. Thank you so much, as always, for sharing your heart!

    • Kathy says:

      Ms Green Bean, it is so nice to hear from you today (and I am grateful for you as well!) It sounds like your life is very rich. In challenging times we can get so bogged down that gratitude can really help us shift. I love that you begin and end each day connecting with God. And I know you are able to share it with others–because, look, you’re sharing it here now!

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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