The Transformational Power of Gratitude

The Transformational Power of Gratitude

Dr Joe Dispenza | 21 November 2023

This week, my team and I published a powerful testimonial from a woman who experienced a profound healing at one of our retreats earlier this year. She joined me onstage a couple of months ago to share her story. Her experience and healing has had such a powerful impact on those who’ve heard it, we knew we had to share it with our wider community as soon as possible.

While one of the highlights of Angelia’s story is a life-changing experience during a Coherence Healing session, if you listen carefully to her testimonial, you’ll realize she’d prepared herself to receive that healing long before she arrived at that retreat. And she did it by cultivating the elevated emotion of gratitude.

Ready to Receive

I encourage you to watch the video in full, but I’ll summarize a few important points here. Following a long illness with COVID-19, Angelia had been diagnosed with many debilitating conditions – most of which, she was told, were incurable. Eventually, she was confined to one room of her home with three air purifiers. She was unable to work, or walk, or eat most foods. She had double vision and incapacitating brain fog.

When Angelia came across this work, she was curious to find out more. But her many symptoms made it hard for her to learn. She wanted the information in my books, but she didn’t have the capacity for attention or energy to read. Instead, she listened to them each day, a little bit at a time, taking in the information at a pace she could tolerate.

Many people in her situation would simply have given up. They’d have surrendered to discouragement. They would’ve had a story of their constant suffering ready at all times – nursing feelings of resentment, bitterness, and grief.

But Angelia retained an important piece of information from the listening she’d done. She knew she needed to feel elevated emotions in order to change her body – and herself. She changed her thoughts and feelings using what she called “little tricks.” When she took a simple glass of water, she said to herself, “Look at this glass of water! It’s an offering to life!” – and she felt grateful to life. When she laid her head down at the end of the day, she said, “I have the softest pillow!” – and was thankful for that simple comfort.

She made an experiment of this work, and of her life – and she was the scientist. When she looked out the window and saw two trees – because of her double vision – she laughingly said, “Oh, look at those trees! And aren’t I lucky? I’m seeing two of them!” Instead of feeling deflated by her circumstance, she felt blessed by it.

Angelia understood something essential about this work. She knew if she was going to heal, she had to change. And she had to begin to change by practicing feeling – and sustaining – elevated emotions, independent of how she otherwise would have felt as a result of her health conditions.

In this work, we learn that the environment signals the gene – and an end-product of an experience in the environment is an emotion. And so, when we feel an elevated emotion, we can begin to signal our genes ahead of the environment. This is what Angelia understood, and this is what she practiced. She wasn’t waiting for her healing to occur to feel grateful; she reasoned that if she first felt grateful, she could actually heal.

So, when she arrived at our retreat in Denver, Colorado, earlier this year, Angelia was in a state of gratitude. That feeling deepened for her as the week progressed. And what do we know about gratitude? Gratitude is the ultimate state of receiving.

In other words, when she was selected as a healee for our Coherence Healing sessions, Angelia was primed for the experience. She was ready to receive. And in that state, she received the energy that literally healed her body.

Boosting Immune Function Through Elevated Emotions

Angelia’s Story of Transformation is among many testimonials we’ve seen that back up one of our first studies on the hormones of stress and immunoglobulin A.

IgA is one of the primary proteins responsible for healthy immune function; constantly fighting a barrage of bacteria, viruses, and organisms that invade or are already living within the body’s internal environment. When it’s activated, it’s the primary internal defense system in the human body. I often refer to IgA as being more powerful than any flu shot or booster – and it’s something the body produces naturally.

And so, years ago, at one of our early workshops, we measured participants’ IgA levels along with their cortisol levels – because these chemicals have an inverse relationship. In other words, when one goes up, the other goes down. If the hormones of stress are elevated, IgA levels are suppressed. That means the immune system is suppressed, compromising the body’s ability to heal or fight off disease.

We gave 120 research attendees an exercise that will sound familiar after reading about Angelia’s testimonial, above. We asked them to practice feeling elevated emotions such as love, joy, or gratitude – instead of survival emotions like fear, anger, resentment, or suffering – for just nine to 10 minutes, three times a day, for four days.

Our premise was this: if, by elevating their emotional state, would they decrease cortisol levels and increase their levels of IgA – thereby naturally boosting their immune system?

The answer was a resounding yes. At the end of the retreat, participants’ cortisol levels had dropped by three standard deviations – and their IgA levels jumped by 49.5 percent.

Angelia’s testimonial, all these years later, bears out what our early measurements already had demonstrated. When we practice feeling and sustaining elevated emotions, we can teach our body to heal itself – with its own inner pharmacy of chemicals.

Too many of us know the possible alternative to Angelia’s story; the alternative to sustaining elevated emotions throughout our waking day. We’re all too familiar with the habit of feeling frustrated, angry, or discouraged. And when we feel this way, the constant refrain in our thinking is, “This will never work. I’ll never change. I can’t do it.”

Just as the elevated emotions of love, joy, and gratitude have corresponding chemicals that signal – and up-regulate – our genes, those dispiriting emotions can feed the body and signal – or down-regulate – our genes, as well. That’s why it’s essential to be intentional about the messages we send our bodies through our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Changing Ourselves; Changing the World

This is a season where many of us observe the traditions of practicing gratitude – and of giving. They go hand-in-hand because, when we give to others, we’re offering them the chance to feel gratitude – and express it to us.

If you watch Angelia’s story to the end, you’ll learn about a mystical experience she had that often happens in our Coherence Healing sessions – where the healers themselves are healed through the love and gratitude that comes back to them. It’s a cycle that only amplifies and expands with greater and greater levels of coherence; coherence generated through elevated emotions.

For those of us fortunate enough to easily feel and express gratitude and generosity, let’s think about the resonant, far-reaching, deeply healing impacts of these practices. It may sound simple and pat to talk about the “season of giving thanks” or the “season of giving,” but the effects of gratitude and generosity are profound.

When we nourish and sustain gratitude, and give others the opportunity to do the same, we can touch – and change – so many lives. We can heal ourselves. We can heal others. We can, one person at a time, change the world.


You can watch Angelia’s story, along with hundreds of other Stories of Transformation, on our YouTube channel. We hope they inspire you to believe, behave, and become.