Ep 80 | How Gratitude Increases Happiness

Dr. Masuro Emoto discovered that molecules in water are affected by our thoughts, words, and feelings. Humans are made up of 70% of water, which means the words we expose ourselves and others to have an impact on them. He discovered that crystals formed in frozen water with positive words written on them formed brilliant, clear, snowflake patterns while negative words directed toward water formed fragmented, dark crystals.

This research proves that when we practice gratitude and send that positive energy towards ourselves, mostly made of water, we get positive results and feel happier in our lives. 

What’s in the episode: 

  • The science between thoughts and water
  • How our thoughts affect our lives in big ways
  • The practice of gratitude creates positive emotions and feelings
  • How to practice gratitude

“It's time to build a life you don't feel you have to regularly escape from. ” 

- Kim Strobel

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About Kim

Kim Strobel is Chief Happiness Officer at Kim Strobel Live Events and Retreats. She is a teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, happiness coach, and mission-minded person whose passion is helping others overcome their fears and discover their joy!

You can follow Kim’s journey on Instagram at @KimStrobelJoy and in the free private She Finds Joy Facebook community.


Kim Strobel 00:06 

Hello to my sheep finds joy listeners. Thank you so much for being with me today, we're going to do a follow up session to the last podcast episode, where we were really talking about happiness, the research behind what really makes us happy. And some eye opening revelations about how what most of us are chasing does not actually contribute a significant amount to long term happiness. So, if you have not listened to the episode before this one, it would be really helpful for you to go back and listen to that one, and then start this one. A quick review from last episode is we were talking about how 40% of our long term happiness is under our control. And that has to do with our actions, our thoughts, and our behaviors, actions, thoughts, and behaviors. And, you know, when I think about that, of course, one of my favorite habits to teach is the simple habit of gratitude. Now, I want you to stick with me here. And some of you have heard me talk about this before, or maybe you heard me in a keynote presentation, talk about the power of gratitude. Or maybe you went through the happy Academy last year, and did that work around the practice of gratitude, but what we know is that when we have a daily gratitude practice, that is one of the most powerful ways to increase our happiness levels. And in fact, it's one of the top five ways. But if you're like me, you have to really know why this works and how it works and be convinced to make this a daily habit in your life. So what I want to do in this episode, is give you the why behind the practice of gratitude. When I think about happiness, and the definition of it, and how we can kind of feel more of that in our life, I know that most people can say, Yes, we would love to feel more happiness. But also, I think that most of us at times would agree that maybe our life isn't everything that we had hoped it to be, you know, we've had pain, or sometimes it's things that are going on in the world that seem to envelop and take away much of our happiness. And I think we're living in a time of chaos, right? Where there's just a lot of confusion. There's a lot of feelings of hopelessness at times. And I think that sometimes just going about our everyday, everyday lives, we can just feel really worn out really fatigued. And then I know, you know, my husband, he likes to flip on the news. And I'm usually on the couch watching my iPad in the evening. But he flips on the news. And he, he goes to Fox for a while. And then he goes to CNN for a while, and he flips back and forth. And every now and then I'll stop what I'm watching. And I'll kind of get caught up in the news. And oh my gosh, you get so freakin depressed, you know, watching the news. It's like, bombarded with information of everything that's wrong in the world, or tragedy and trauma and things like that. And so we know that there's a lot to handle out there right now. Economic,

you know, conflict, a lot of ethnic, prejudiced, you know, religious and political wars, news about people who are suffering or going through trauma, all of these things do affect us. But I also think that we are at a time in our life where we're kind of at our wits end, and we're saying to ourselves, I just don't want to go through life filling all of this heaviness all of the time. Isn't there more to life, Kim? Shouldn't I feel better in my life? And I do think that this is something that is a great question to ask ourselves. I know for me, I'm 48 years old, and of course, that's not old. But there's a part of me that says, Oh, my gosh, every single day I have is a gift and what am I doing with my days? You know, in 22 years, I'll be 70 You know, Oh, my mom just turned 70 the other day and I was thinking in 22 years that will be me. And I have so much more that I want to do with my life and I want to experience with my life. And I want to contribute with my life. And so I think these are good questions. And sometimes when life gets hard, and there's a lot of chaos, that sometimes pushes us to the extent where we say, Okay, enough, is enough, you know, I want to really take charge of my life. And I recently read a quote, and even though this is not an episode on self care, self care, it kind of reminded me of this, it said, True self care is not salt baths, and, you know, massages, it's not those things, it's making the choice to build a life, you don't need to regularly escape from. And that, quote, was so powerful to me, because I think that many people are trying to escape from their lives. And I'm guilty of that at times, you know, when I have to eat, you know, for hostess cupcakes at night, maybe to start off a feeling that I'm having. But what I want us to start to do is really see the goodness that is around us and know that one of the ways to do that is to practice gratitude. Now, let me talk to you a little bit about this back in around 2011 2012. I wrote an Eli Lilly teacher creativity fellowship grant. And in Indiana at that time, you could write a grant that would personally renew you. And it didn't even have to be linked at all to teaching it was just a grant supported by Eli Lilly, they still have it today, I believe for Indiana. And if that's not your state, or your country, you might look it up. Maybe they have it for other states in the US. Probably not in other countries. But I was awarded $8,000, because I wrote a grant to go to to Sedona, Arizona, and do all of this spiritual stuff that I said, Would rejuvenate me. And one of those things was the practice of meditation. And while I was there, I always love to go to these bookstores and metaphysical gift shops. And somehow, one of the people at one of the bookstores recommended this book to me called the hidden messages in water. And it's by dr. Emoto. Toe Missoura. Dr. Sorry, I had that wrong. It's the opposite Dr. Missourah Emoto. And here's what he did. He really, for me, paved the path to understanding how important our words are, that we say to ourselves, and also how important the practice of gratitude is, because gratitude is something that every single person on the globe can greatly benefit from. And so in his book, he talks about how the average human being is made up of 70% of water. And that when we started our life out, we were 99% water as fetuses. And then when we're born, we're 90% water. And by the time we reach adulthood, we're down to 70%. All right. And so basically, throughout our lives, we exist in our bodies, as mostly water. And what he realized is that there's this connection that applies to water and all people. And he started to do these experiments, where he started to study water, and he would look at the water in a river. And, you know, he would see that when that water is moving through the winter river, or the creek that it remains more pure. And then when the water becomes kind of trapped, right? It turns murky and nasty. And so he started to think about well, okay, so water has to constantly be circulated. And the water or the blood in the bodies, right of people who are sick is usually kind of stagnant. And when when blood stops flowing, the body starts to decay and your brain stops and, you know, you die. And so he was just discovering that when we feel emotion And those emotions get stuck in our brains and our bodies, that that stuckness has a direct impact on our body, because our body is made up of mostly water. Now, I know this is sounding kind of crazy. But I want you to stick with me because he did this really amazing experiment where he taught about the power of words. And so what we know are that words have great power. And not only do they have great power, but those words many times become our thoughts, and our words

and thoughts become our feelings. And our feelings become our emotions, and our emotions drive our actions, and our actions drive our results. And so, what he did is he began to study the effect that words or thought had on water, knowing that the human body is 70% water. And so he wrote down words on little pieces of paper, and he wrote down negative words such as ugly, guilt, shame, hopelessness, on certain pieces of paper. And then he wrote positive words such as love, gratitude, happiness piece, on other sticky notes are pieces of paper. And what he did is he put each of those words on just a regular water bottle. And he kept those words on those water bottles, and he put them in the freezer. And after putting these water bottles in the freezer with each of these words written on them, he took them out after they were frozen. And he studied the crystals under a microscope. And he shows in his book that the water bottles that had the negative words on them, formed very dark like crystals, very cloudy crystal, some cloudier than others. For example, shame was more fragmented, then frustration right or full. And so the ones that had the negative words on them were dark, they were cloudy, they were very fractal. And then the water bottles that had the positive words on them, like love and joy, and hope and gratitude, those formed really beautiful, like snowflake like crystals. And what he discovered was that words have a vibrational frequency. And he's not the only one to discover this. We've known this many times that words and feelings and emotions, which are all three different things, but they all have an emotional frequency to them. This is why, you know, when you walk into a room, and maybe there's like a lot of heaviness or sadness or negativity in the room, you immediately feel the energy of the room, it's because that is affecting you because words and feelings and emotions affect your own energetic field. But what dr. Emoto discovered was that these words all have a vibrational frequency. And that vibrational frequency affects whatever those words are being sent to or whatever those words are being said to. In this case, the words were penetrating the water crystals, which means that the vibration of good words has a very positive effect on our world on ourselves on the people around us. Now, this is not hokey. Since then I have seen that there are 1000s of people who have ran this experiment who have run this experiment. And what's interesting is that the most beaut Before crystal of all was formed by the words, love, and gratitude. And so if our body is 70% Water, that means that the words that we're saying the words that we're thinking in our head, which are our thoughts, those are affecting the vibrational frequencies around us. And so when we think about the words that we're using, or the words that we're saying to ourselves, and we know that that is having a pretty significant impact on us, it makes us really think about how we're choosing our words. And that links directly to gratitude. Because when you're in a state of gratitude, you're in that state of sending positive energy out into the world, and you're sending positive energy to yourself. And this we know has an impact on your, your happiness levels, your wellbeing levels. Not only that, but remember in the last episode, when we talked about how 80% of most human beings thoughts are negative in a day's time, and 95% of that 80% are the exact same thoughts that you had the day before. And so we have these negative loops that run in our brains all of the time. And one of the best ways to combat that is through the practice of gratitude. Now, there's many different ways to practice gratitude. Shaun acre says that when we can get you to write down three different things that you're thankful for each day, that after 21 days, we actually create a new neural feedback loop in your brain. And so our brain is filled up of 1000s, and 1000s, of roadways. And whichever roadway we take the most often is the ones those are the ones that get the most ingrained. So for example, I know when I'm working with people, specifically women, they have tons of body shame. And they would be astounded if we had a little device inside of them, that at the end of the day said, This is how many times you shamed your body today, they will be astounded because that's running in the default, the subconscious mind that they're not even aware of it much of the time. And this is not just women, but women in particular, I think, are are extremely vulnerable to this. And so that means that tomorrow, they're going to body shame even more because that roadway gets locked in and it gets deeper and deeper, which means tomorrow, it's going to go

down that roadway even more. It's the same thing like when, you know, we have someone in our life that maybe we have to deal with or we have to tolerate or someone who really gets on our nerves or somebody who's done an injustice to us, right or somebody who's upset us. And we ruminate on it. And we think and we think and we think about it, and that thinking about it goes on sometimes for hours or for days or for weeks, or in my case it went on for years, right? I was ruminating and ruminating about these different people who had hurt me, which meant that it was becoming habitual. And so one of the ways to get ourselves out of those negative thinking patterns, is to simply get a little journal, get one from TJ Maxx order one from Amazon, I'm actually going to put my favorite journal in the links to this podcast episode because Dr. Emma Gibbs, who is one of my team members recommended this great journal that I love from Amazon. So I'm going to drop that one in too. But it could also just be a notebook. And all you do is put the date. And then at the top of my journal entry, I put I am thankful dot dot dot and that goes at the top of each one of my journal entries because the words I m are really really powerful. There's a vibrational frequency that those words carry. And you write down three things that you're thankful for. And there's power in the pin. So you know if you want to do this around your your dining room table at night, that's a great practice. But they do say when you put pen to paper, it kind of makes it go into the subconscious mind more. These don't have to be big things like I'm sitting in my office right now. It's a Sunday night it's 930. I'm saying For that, I got to take a nap today, I'm thankful that I can comfort my dog Sophie, who's lying in the chair next to me, I'm thankful that I had a big jug of water to drink today. Because I ran in the really hot weather. I'm thankful that my mom had a great weekend, spending time celebrating her birthday with her family, I'm thankful that my flowers are still thriving in my flower pot, because when I pull up in my driveway, I see all these pink flowers. I'm thankful that my son arrived in Panama City Beach with his buddies today safely. I mean, there's so much to be thankful for. And you just have to write down three different things every day. And it is a game changer, it really is. You do have to find though, if this is a practice you're going to commit to, or you want to make sure that you can make it a habit, then it kind of needs to happen at the same time every day. That's how we make things habitual. And we talk a lot about this in the, in the happy Academy when we really talk to people about incorporating habits, and how do we really incorporate habits? How do we make them a part of our life, and not just something that lasts for a few days, or, you know, a couple of weeks, and we dropped the ball again, we really get into the psychology of habit forming. And so we know that with this, you know, you need to decide is this happen? When you're doing your morning coffee before you get ready for work? Does it happen? Right after you eat lunch, do you and your spouse each have a gratitude journal in your nightstand and you pull it out and do your gratitudes and share them at the end of the day before you fall asleep. You have to find kind of a time each day where it's going to happen. So that your brain begins to get triggered that this is part of who you are. I'm somebody who has a daily practice of gratitude. And it takes two minutes, my friends two minutes. And it has a ripple effect. Because you begin to go through your day. And you start to see other things you're thankful for that pop out. Or you start to see other little things that people did that made you happy. And it does cause this really big ripple effect. So what I want us to do and consider is let's stop being those people who are talking about changing their life. And let's actually take action to change our life. And let's build a life that we really love a lot of the time, and not stay stuck in one that makes us feel like we have to escape from. That's what I want for you, my friends. Okay, before we wrap this up, we are getting really close to closing the happy Academy registration for the year. In fact, whenever this podcast episode goes live, which I'm looking right here to see exactly when it goes live. So this one goes live on July 27. And so basically, in about four weeks, we will be closing the door on the happy Academy because we actually start in August, we release month one of the happy Academy in August. And so the happy Academy is our 10 month wellbeing program. And we have a lot of schools and school districts who are joining the happy Academy. But we also have individuals who are

joining the happy Academy who want to do like this 10 month coaching program with me, where we focus on really taking your life to the next level. And we really focus on how do you want to feel in your life? And what are the different levers that you need to pull to actually begin to get those results? How do we change your actions, thoughts and behaviors. So you feel really good in your life. So if you want to know more about the happy Academy, last year, we had 2600 People go through it, it was a fantastic group of human beings because as you know, when you surround yourself with other people who are doing this work, you increase your chances of being able to make those positive changes in your life. And so if you go to struggle education.com And you go to the top menu bar, and you go to programs and you go to the happy Academy, it's going to show you the 10 month curriculum that we will be working our way through and if you have a school principal or school leader or superintendent that you want to pass this information on to I am happy to give you the link I will put the link in the show notes as well. Now, here's what I wish for all of us as we wrap this episode up, I hope with all my heart that you know, that you are allowed to create and are deserving of much happiness and well being and you are allowed to welcome that in your life. But you also are allowed to love yourself enough to know that you have to take action and creating a daily practice of gratitude means you are an action taker. Okay, folks, I would love to hear your thoughts about today's episode. Thank you for all of you who keep sharing my podcast with other people. Some of you are screenshotting the podcast episode, you're posting it on Instagram and tagging me at Kim Strobel joy, which makes my heart super happy. It helps me to know that my words and my contributions are making a difference in your life. Alright, love to all of you and I'll see you on the next episode.

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