How to Experience More Gratitude, Compassion, and Love

Photo Credit: mtsofan on Flickr

This post examines how the experiences of gratitude, compassion, and love are deeply interconnected with your biology.

When you’re stressed out, overwhelmed or living in an incongruent way your body naturally goes into a reactive fight or flight mode.

This process involves around 1,400 biological changes, including less blood flow and oxygen to areas of your brain associated with the experience of gratitude, compassion, and love.

When you’re physically and emotionally on guard, the region of your brain called your amygdala (some call it your “lizard brain” because evolutionarily it is the ancient part of the brain involved in fear, reaction, and protection) is activated.

Your lizard brain’s job is “survival.”

The consciousness associated with this part of your brain just wants less of what hurts. When activated, it will revert you to conditioned survival patterns in order to help you get away from what’s hurting you.

What’s more, it will ensure that your body retains a vigilant state so that you’re ready for future threats as well.

In times of danger or threat, or during an injury, your lizard brain is perfectly suited to get you through the crisis. The problem comes when the challenge is over and your brain and body don’t get the memo.

Your lizard brain can keep on cranking out instructions to be on alert and defensive, even when the circumstances that triggered you are long gone. It is then, when the “it’s me against the world” consciousness of the lizard brain goes unchecked, that your quality of life begins to suffer.

Beyond just feeling unsettled, anxious, or uneasy, you also begin to experience a loss of creativity and passion. Everything feels harder.

You begin to get emotionally upset more easily. It feels like you’ve got a shorter fuse.

Pain and tension appear, and fatigue begins to set in as you body tightens and contracts. The rose-colored lenses of optimism and possibility dim, and your focus turns to just getting through another day.

Your life becomes about surviving.

Unfortunately, this state is where far too many people are living. It doesn’t matter how good your diet is, how much you exercise, or how much money you make. Even if you’re doing all the “right” things, your brain and body can still be operating in the fight-flight mode.

You are hardwired for awakening.

You weren’t born to spend your life in survival. You were born for creativity and growth, to experience and express deeper levels of consciousness, and be one with yourself and the world. You might call it awakening. You might call it realization or enlightenment.

Whatever you call it, its the place where true gratitude, love, and compassion exist.

The best part is, you are hardwired for awakening. The latest and greatest part of your brain, evolutionarily speaking, is an area called the pre-frontal cortex. Also dubbed the “angel lobes,” this region is associated with deeper and more expanded consciousness states.

When it is activated you feel a deep sense of gratitude, compassion, love, and joy. You are more aware of a greater connection to yourself and others, and you are more at peace, resourceful, and in sync with your environment.

If you think about times in your life where you’ve been in “the zone,” and everything is lining up perfectly and effortlessly both in your inner and outer world, biologically you were tapping into those higher parts of your brain.

Whether you call the result of being connected to that mysterious and compelling guiding wisdom right action, unconflicted behavior, being in the flow, or being in the zone, it isn’t important.

What’s important is once you’ve been there, you know that’s where you want to live.

You can experience more gratitude, compassion, and love on a regular basis if you cultivate your body’s ability to activate your “angel lobes.”

Meditation is one way and it can take many years of practice. At The Well Being Center, we can help you do it instantly through a process we call spinal entrainment.

Learn more about network spinal entrainment.

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About John Amaral

Santa Cruz Chiropractor Dr. John Amaral has helped thousands of people from over 50 countries transform and awaken to more meaningful and purposeful lives. Follow him on twitter at @johnamaral