The Power of Gratitude

In October of 1621, what is commonly referred to as the first “Thanksgiving” was celebrated as a way for the pilgrims to give thanks for their first harvest in the New World. Little did the 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans present know that in the very act of gratitude, by giving thanks for the bounty they had harvested and the friendships they created, they were boosting their immune system. How do we know this?

Last winter at our Advanced Workshop in Tacoma Washington, we performed a study on gratitude whereby we took 120 people and measured their cortisol and IgA levels at the start and conclusion of the workshop.

Cortisol is a stress hormone, and when we are constantly on high alert or living under the gun of the fight or flight response, we mobilize an enormous amount of the body’s energy for some threat in our lives—real or imagined—and it causes our immune system to lower. In other words, if we are utilizing all the body’s resources for some threat in our outer world in order to defend ourselves from a perceived danger, there is little energy in our inner world for growth, repair, and internal defense. Thus, the lower our immune system, the more susceptible we are to sickness and disease.

As cortisol levels go up, a chemical called IgA goes down. This isn’t good because IgA is a protein, one of the strongest building blocks of life. IgA is responsible for the healthy function of our body’s supreme internal defense system called the immune system. It’s constantly fighting a barrage of bacteria, viruses, and organisms that invade and/or are already living within the body’s internal environment. Bottom line: IgA is better than any flu shot or immune system booster you could possibly take—and it’s totally natural.

During the course of our four-day workshop, we asked our 120 study participants to move into an elevated emotional state such as love, joy, or gratitude for nine to ten minutes, three times a day, to determine if we could do the reverse. If we could elevate our emotional states, could we raise our immune system and reduce stress hormones like cortisol? We discovered at the conclusion of the event that the cortisol levels of our participants dropped by three standard deviations, and their IgA levels shot up on average from 52.5 to 86. These are significant, measureable changes.

What this tells us is that we don’t need a pharmacy or an exogenous substance to heal us—we have the power from within to upregulate the genes that make IgA. Something as simple as moving into an elevated state of joy, love, or gratitude for five to ten minutes a day can produce significant epigenetic changes in our health and bodies.

So as you give thanks for all your blessings throughout this holiday season, and feel those elevated emotions in a festive spirit, you should know that in the act of gratitude, at the very least you are improving your health. However, if the bounty of gratitude and joy of the holiday season becomes infectious to those around you, you might just be healing others. And just like an infection spreads amongst a community to create sickness, I believe that health and wellness are just as infectious. Spread that around.



  1. Don Ross November 26, 2016 at 3:12 am - Reply

    watching Brother David’s video “A good day” helps get me started on elevating my gratitude.

  2. Isy November 26, 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

  3. Dr. Petra Pforr November 26, 2016 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Thank you soooo much , Dr. JOE!

  4. Clau November 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you Dr. Joe Dispenza for being who you are and for your commitment to guide those of us who choose to change our primitive mindset into a new abundant set of mind.

    May you continue to be our guide for many generations to come.


  5. Claire November 27, 2016 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Great read! Thanks for this article. 🙂

  6. Changu December 2, 2016 at 12:33 am - Reply

    This is absolutely amazing … thank you so much for sharing this with the world 🙂 Gratitude attracts abundance <3
    Thank you Universe for EVERYTHING 🙂 Im a yoga instructor and this resonates with me so much. The practice of yoga increases our level of consciousness but it also strengthens our immune system and not only the physical immune system but also the psychic and mental immune system … what it means for the psychich immune system is that we build an immunity against stress and negativity and when we don't give attention or mobilize our energy for such unnecessary thoughts we feel that unlimited joy and gratitude for everything around us and when we express that gratitude the Universe "Ok here's more … take more and more and more" and the gates of abundance just break open like a damn with all that fresh water flowing to us to nourish and help our growth. I love this article. Thank you once again 🙂

  7. Kristine December 3, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    It would be interesting to see how meditation and gratitude affect our blood in the way Hado has shown to affect water as can be seen here: (The preceding is not my site nor do I have any affiliation with it other than sheer fascination.) Your work in conjuction with the HeartMath Institute is life saving and I appreciate it very much.

  8. Olga martin December 3, 2016 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr Joe. I am always grateful even for adversity because its the only thing I can control. My reaction to accept and bless thereby protects my already weakened immune system because I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’m do grateful for you! God bless.

  9. Matthew December 3, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Amazing study. I have been practicing your work, Dr. Joe Dispenza, for 3 years. The healing power is amazing. I consistently do 2 meditations per day. Thanks for all that you do, and consistently studying our potential.

  10. Matthew December 3, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Amazing study. I have been practicing your work, Dr. Joe Dispenza, for 3 years. The healing power is amazing. I consistently do 2 meditations per day. Thanks for all that you do, and consistently studying our potential.

  11. Renée robertson December 3, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr Joe Dispenza
    , I will see you in Paris next February, I have some health issues right now and I feel so quiet and unexpectedly so joyfull! Thank you and gratitude for your help !

  12. Angeles December 3, 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Mi sorpresa y mi gratitud hacia el doctor, que durante el curso he sentido tanta, porque su entrega llena de amor llegaba a todos.
    Gracias de nuevo por por la entrega

  13. Angeles December 3, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Desde Málaga, quiero decir que me está siendo fácilmente mi rutina de meditaciones, tanto mañana como noche, también comentar que he venido con la facilidad de ser consciente de pensamientos del pasado pudiendo tener la oportunidad de cambiar el enfoque apenas los percibo.
    Solo añadir que sé que no es facil pero sí posible. Espero practicar mucho y muy bien para estar preparada para el avanzado.
    Un abrazo.

  14. Meltem December 3, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Dear Dr. Joe Dispenza, your teachings are great inspiration to me. I practice them as you describe. And I know I am changing a lot positively. This one is also very beneficial and valuable article. Thanks a lot.

  15. Elio December 3, 2016 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much Dr. Joe! I appreciate your work immense and i do it every day. And i discovered by my self that Gratitude gives me the strongest feelings and emotions in my whole being, like Love. Your work is a very big gift for the world, the only way we have is to change from inside to outside. I wish you from deep heart wonderful Christmas days, full of Joy and Happiness.

  16. Naomi Fiske December 3, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Our gratitude to you is so great for all you share for so many of us. We look forward to doing your advanced course soon. Deepest gratitude to YOU for being YOU. Blessings always,Naomi and Richard

  17. Paulette December 3, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Thank-you for this article. I always learn and get inspired by your articles and talks. They help to reinforce my commitment to doing the work.

  18. Paulette December 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Thank-you for this article.
    It helps to reinforce my commitment to doing the work

  19. Elizabeth AA December 3, 2016 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Love it, thanks Dr. Joe. :o)

  20. Robert Steiner December 3, 2016 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Dear Dr. Joe, I want to thank you so much for your last four videos, for your newsletters and for your immense contribution in helping and guiding people in improving their lifes! I’m looking Forward seeing you in Munich in January!

  21. Elisabeth Streck December 4, 2016 at 5:52 am - Reply

    Thank you Dr Joe! It is always such an inspiration to read and listen to your messages! I am so grateful to be able to get the knowledge and put it into practice.
    God bless you for your great contribution!
    Lots of love from Germany!

  22. Mayte Pablos Vélez December 4, 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Thank you 💝

  23. Nancy Sheehan December 4, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Excellent. Thanks again

  24. Lee December 4, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Hows does one move into joy, when their very existence is measured in minutes. At a young age I used to have Out of Body Experiences, or I would sleep all the time. I know now, that this was a way of me escaping reality, not conscious of my body. I was free from the physical world, a freedom not obtain in the physical form. Then as I progress in life, more challenges came my way……………..Some that where so great, my memory block the pain of it out. As I got a little older a call to duty came and I went willingly, did my time with honor. Many years have passed, the body is dying, my desire of life all but gone. The mind has been affected by this life, as is the body, how does one learn to have hope again. How does one bring in the new day, how do I heal my mind????????

    • Mary January 13, 2017 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      Meditate daily- twice a day if possible.
      Best to you

  25. Manuel December 5, 2016 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Hi Dr. Joe,
    I enjoy all your information and I find it very exciting. I’ve read your book “You’re The Placebo” (more than once), I’ve done your online course that was prerequisite to the Progressive Workshop I participated in in Toronto this passed August. I’ve been doing one of your meditations daily for the past 8 months. In other words, I’ve been doing the work, and I’m not writing here to complain about having no results, but to ask how I can overcome a challenge I have been having.
    I have many things I could be very grateful for, but I hardly if ever feel any gratitude, and as that is kind of a prerequisite to any progress, as far a s I understand your information, I am at an impasse of sorts.
    I probably need to let go of any outcome, but there is not even a particular outcome I get excited about. An outcome to feel grateful for would be to feel gratitude! And there the cat bites its tail. What to do?
    Not get up from the meditations before I am in love with life? I’ve meditated in excess of three hrs, and didn’t get into the “Love for Life” zone” and cannot afford to do that daily!..
    Thoughts please ! I would appreciate that! Thank You!

  26. Maureen December 5, 2016 at 3:08 am - Reply

    Thank YOU for all you share. Love & Blessings to you!

  27. Terry December 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you for some science to back up all this “feel good” woo-woo stuff. I’ve always been a grateful, appreciative person, even before it became so popular, but I still got lymphoma so how does that figure? I must not be thinking right, or trying hard enough, I don’t know.

  28. Rita December 6, 2016 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Dear dr Joe. Thank you for your newsletters and making your mind matter program. It came at a very crucial time in my life and my sisters’. You finally did answer the how to do it. It has changed my life. And continues to do so. Many thanks.

  29. VIRGINIA December 8, 2016 at 5:37 am - Reply

    Me emociona y alegra que estas enseñanzas estén al alcance de quien busque o pida. gracias Dr. Joe por recordarnos que es nuestro estado divino agradecer, amar, bendecir.

  30. margarita December 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    solo dar gracias por abrirnos nuestros corazones hacia los demás : amor, alegría y están sucediendo cosas totalmente inesperadas para mi …. gracias y Feliz Navidad

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