By now, most of us have heard the news:
grateful people are happier, healthier and generally more fulfilled.
And while these are all really great side effects of gratitude, for me, one of the coolest things about gratitude is the way it affects the heart. The heart creates an electromagnetic field that expands up to five feet from the body. Its electrical field is 60 times stronger in amplitude than that of the brain. Studies show that when people cultivate positive feelings, the heart’s frequency changes and its waves become smoother and more consistent, while anxiety or stress caused waves to be shorter and less organised.
Though most positive feelings were capable of affecting the heart in this way, researchers noted that gratitude changed the heart’s rhythm more easily and faster than any of the others.
What’s more is that this frequency can even ‘entrain’ hearts and brains nearby. It’s especially likely that the heart with the smoothest, most ‘coherent’ frequency will be the heart that other people sync up with. So if you’re cultivating gratitude, it’s probable that you’re changing the state of those around you for the better, too. Basically, even when we aren’t aware of it, our heart is constantly communicating with those around us. But as complex as it all may seem, intuitively, it seems that humans have been aware of this ‘chatting’ between hearts for quite some time. It may be the reason we say we’re having a ‘heart to heart’ with someone when we’re engaged in an intimate, sincere conversation.
Researchers have reported that hearts between lovers sync even when the lovers aren’t touching or conversing. The same goes for heart frequencies of unborn babies and their mothers.
So when Jim Rohn said, ‘You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’, he made an interesting point indeed. Our bodies are talking. And physiologically, it’s gratitude whose message is the loudest. We’re affecting each other in ways we may have never even pondered.
Choose your company wisely, but find comfort in the idea that gratitude has a way of trumping all. Keep gratitude flowing in your own heart, and you can change the world around you without lifting a finger.
Research via HeartMath Institute