The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In reality, gratitude encompasses all of this. Gratitude is the thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), gratitude brings balance to the meridians and their respective organs. The two organ systems that are most impacted by practicing gratitude are the Kidneys and the Liver. The Kidney energy (qi) represent our deepest energy reservoir, our genetic expression, and our body’s ability to sustain homeostasis. We are born with a prenatal energy that, in TCM, is called “jing”. This energy is stored in the Kidney. Our daily gratitude practices can positively affect the way we nurture (or harm) this energy that we are born with. This energy that we are born with influences the qi energy that we continue throughout our life. They influence each other. As an example; people who “burn the candle at both ends” are more likely to have adrenal burnout or fatigue, which can affect both the prenatal and postnatal energy of the Kidney.
A practice of breathing combined with thankfulness does a world of good for our kidney energy. It restores this energy at a deep level, while emotions like fear weaken our kidney energy. Our kidneys are most rejuvenated through rest and repair and gratitude is a powerful example of that.
The Liver is the other energy system impacted by this practice. The Liver energy controls our emotions and is strongly related to feelings of anxiety and depression. When our Liver energy is stuck, we feel as though there’s nothing we can do to impact our current emotional state. We feel as though we are at the effect of our emotions, rather than being able to create and design our lives.
The practice of gratitude is the start of the shifting. Focusing on what IS working and not what’s lacking, allows us to know that all is not lost and we are in an even better position than we may have originally thought.
The practice of gratitude has been proven to have many benefits both physically and emotionally.