Why You Don't Need to Be Grateful for Anything

Gratitude gives life meaning and yet it need not be dependent on the outside world.

“Gratitude improves emotional and physical health, and it can strengthen relationships and communities.  Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished. Gratitude enriches human life.  It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms.  People are moved, opened and humbled through expressions of gratitude.” – Dr. Robert Emmons, University of California Professor.

Gratitude is one of the precepts of Reiki and is inherent and integrated within its practice of healing touch and loving meditative awareness.

Reiki, translated as universal life force energy, connects us to the underlying intelligence of life. When we are tapped into our life force gratitude instinctively irrigates and permeates each and every cell of our being.

What I find profound and compelling about the practice of Reiki is that our own feelings of gratitude need not be dependent upon anything outside of ourselves.  Rather we can experience gratitude as part of our essential nature – a state of being.

A common gratitude practice is to count our blessings in a written journal. While research substantiates the effectiveness in doing so – it improves the quality of our health and our lives – it actually takes our awareness outside of ourselves in order to come into contact with that which is already imbedded within us.

Certainly there is a beauty in accessing our inner state through the recognition of the outer world.  With Reiki we directly attune to the healing quality of gratitude from within which then informs how we perceive and flow through the outer world.

Whichever pathway to gratitude we chose we are strengthening our inner reservoir of resilience.

Saying “thank you” is a form of cognitive appraisal which helps us see circumstances in a new light – a chosen shift in perspective where we can see opportunity.  We can also simply bathe in the energy of the words “thank you” without focusing on anything in particular.  Simply tuning into gratitude in this way better equips us to navigate life with greater skill and from a place of flow.  It takes away our resistance to what is.

Practicing Reiki creates the same opening and brings us into greater contact with the fabric of life resulting in a gratitude filled life.  Through Reiki we experience gratitude as an inherent expression of who we are.  This allows harmonious outcomes to become more available through our moment to moment experience of life.  This helps boost the immune response and lower blood pressure.  We experience more joy, optimism and happiness, we act with more generosity and compassion and feel less lonely, more connected and supported.

Research has shown that giving thanks can help us heal from trauma. Gratitude may also serve as a protective factor against PTSD symptoms and can help decrease depressive symptoms.

Give yourself permission to simply sit inside the energy of gratitude.  Pay attention.  As your perspective changes a new healing quality may emerge and find its place within your life.


The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice – Volume 10, Issue 2, 2015 – Gratitude and PTSD symptoms among Israeli youth exposed to missile attacks: examining the mediation of positive and negative affect and life satisfaction

The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice – Volume 9, Issue 6, 2014 – Special Issue: Behavioral Intervention Technologies for Positive Psychology When do people benefit from gratitude practice?