10 Trillion Best Reasons to Be Appreciative

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Do you appreciate the fact that there are currently 10 trillion working for you — doing their level best 24/7 to keep you alive and well? Have you taken the time recently to thank them or do you, like most, take them for granted?

We are talking, of course, about the estimated 10 trillion cells that the experts, such as Dr. Oz, say make up your body and brain. Each one of these cells is an independent living organism with consciousness and intelligence that it uses to communicate and cooperate with the other cells that compose your physical self. To prove this statement, let’s look at two random heart cells.

If we were to take a single living heart cell and put it on a slide in a drop of saline solution, through a microscope we could observe it alternately contracting and expanding. Onto the other end of this glass slide, we could then place another heart cell from a different host, and we could observe that the two cells were “beating” at differing rates. If, however, we then began slowly moving the cells closer together, we would notice a point at which the two cells start to beat in sync with each other, even though they are still not touching. This means that the heart cells have the ability to communicate and cooperate with one another. For this to be possible there must be cellular intelligence. Isn’t that truly amazing?

Could these two alternately contracting and relaxing cells, working together, pump blood? No. How about if they gathered a few of their friends so that there are now, let’s say, 17 heart cells “beating” as one; would they now be able to circulate blood? Of course not. If, however, 100 billion of them teamed up to form a heart, then they can; that is, with their innate intelligence, their stellar communication skills and their willingness and ability to play a specialized role and work together, they can pump blood. Not so fast. Where would the blood go? From where would the blood come? To serve a useful purpose, the heart cells / heart have to be part of a complete circulatory system made up of arteries, veins, capillaries… in order to circulate the blood. Then there is the little issue of other tissues, organs and systems necessary to complete the organism — YOUR BODY!

Each of the 10 trillion (remember, that is 10-thousand billion with a B) cells of which your body consists has intelligence and the ability and willingness to play a specialized role in keeping you humming along. Together, by communicating with one another and cooperating in an infinitely complex set of interactions, they make it possible for you to live on this planet we call Earth.Is this not awe inspiring? Is it not something worth your appreciating?

Think about it. When was the last time you had to tell your heart to pump blood or your kidneys to carry out their role of filtration? Do you have to cajole them or threaten them to get them to get to work? Do they ask for time off, call in sick or request more vacation time and then threaten to go on strike if they don’t get it? Do the cells of the intestines complain about their working conditions in the odoriferous, dark, dank bowels of your body; do they ask to trade places with the skin cells so they can enjoy the soft breezes and warm sun and receive praise for their beauty? No!

Their own well being and your well being are their top priority, and when their lifespan (whether a day, a couple of weeks, 120 days) comes to an end, they have their progeny carry on their work to keep you alive and vibrant. Now that’s dedication!

And what do we do? Instead of heaping praise on our cells, these dedicated servants, for a job well done (you are upright and vertical for most of the day, aren’t you, and able to make conscious choices – right?), we tend to find the one thing that is wrong with us and focus and complain about that. It might be toenail fungus, heartburn, a pimple, a boil or even a more serious chronic condition, but whatever it is, it gets the bulk of the attention that we give our body. Is that right?

Here’s the problem. When we gripe and complain about stuff that’s going wrong (justified or not), this negative thinking/focus results in the adrenal glands spewing cortisol into the bloodstream to deal with the imminent threat (that’s how the cells perceive the situation). This focus, if maintained for long periods of time, can lead to states of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, fear, depression, confusion — resulting in more and more of the cortisol and its stress-related buddies being released into your system. These stress hormones (cortisol, et al) prepare your body for fight or flight, which might be overkill for a hangnail.

The real problem is that since cortisol is linked to dealing with imminent danger, a threat to survival left over from the days of saber-tooth tigers and such, it takes priority over everyday functions, such as the release of HgH (human growth hormone), whose function it is to repair and regenerate cells. Thus when there is cortisol in the system, Hgh is not released to grow new cells and repair cells damaged by free radicals and the general wear and tear that aging cells regularly incur. As a result, the aging of the cells of your body and brain is accelerated — you grow old and fall apart even faster than you otherwise would.

Here’s the solution. Spend less time worrying about what disease condition might attack you or griping about your present ailment(s) and spend more time appreciating the 95% or more of your physical and mental self that is doing extremely well. When you wake up in the morning, go to bed at night and before each and every meal or snack, take a moment to FEEL appreciation for something your body and/or brain are doing well. Focus on a single item, such as your good eyesight, your ability to digest food, your immune system’s ability to fight off foreign invaders… and FEEL real heartfelt appreciation. Or you can make a list of 5 or 10 things your body/brain have been doing well and spend a few seconds enjoying feelings of gratefulness. This will help you switch from a cortisol / problem-oriented self to being a person with robust health because your pituitary is spewing gobs of Hgh, which is repairing and regenerating cells so they can serve you better. Imagine 10 trillion well-trained specialists working 24/7 for your well being. That’s something worth appreciating!