Gratitude a Side Effect of Mindfulness?

While studying with Mindful Schools of California I learned that there are nine aspects of well-being that are developed through pre-frontal cortex stimulation like that which occurs during mindfulness meditation practices. The 10th is thought to be gratitude!

Essentially when you get focused, relax, and allow your mind to be at ease you have access to higher levels of thinking as you are utilizing the pre-frontal cortex. Walking around stressed, overwhelmed, and in fight, flight, or freeze keeps you stuck in a reactive mode and using the part of your brain referred to as the amydala. Simple mindfulness techniques train your brain to not be reactive and then when functioning at these higher levels of thinking gratitude begins to happen naturally.

Even daily life proves this. Think about a time you sat in nature and felt the warm sun or smelled the fresh air. You slowed down and noticed what was going on around you and it felt good, right? How about a time when you watched a child playing and laughing? The innocent playfulness had your attention and it amused you. You naturally slowed down and noticed what was going on in the moment and you may have felt joy, peace, and part of what you felt is gratitude.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
Zig Ziglar

You can also rewire your brain by practicing gratitude. Gratitude requires a shift in perception. When you change your thoughts and your emotions you change your brain. Gratitude practices give you a shot of dopamine and of serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitters. Regular practice leads to naturally feeling more grateful because simply stated, neurons that fire together wire together.

It’s really just a choice to change your perception. To take your attention and choose to focus it on something good, that is gratitude.

There are countless articles exploring the science and benefits of gratitude. Here is one of my favorites:

According to the International Journal of Workplace Health Management (Vol. 2 Iss:3, pp.202-219) “Virtues, Work Satisfactions, and Psychological Well-being Among Nurses.”Gratitude was found to be a consistent predictor of the following: less exhaustion and less cynicism, more pro-active behaviors, higher rating of the health and safety climate, higher job satisfaction, and fewer absences due to illness.

At its simplest gratitude creates joy and that should be enough reason to practice. Personally I don’t do well with gratitude lists so here are a few new ideas for you:

  1. Get a buddy. Ask someone to listen to you be grateful each day. Writing or verbally are both fine. This isn’t just about accountability. I have never met anyone who did not want to be validated. When you allow someone to witness your experiences it insures what you are doing feels purposeful and meaningful.
  2. Start a Joy Jar. Get a basket or canning jar as well as cut up paper or sticky notes and a pen. Place them somewhere at work or home where you will see them regularly. Anytime you have an experience that brings you joy write it down and put it in the jar. Every week or every month reread everything. You will be amazed at what you forgot and at how much you have to be grateful for each day.
  3. Be of service. Volunteer for a cause that matters to you. Become a domestic violence advocate, knit blankets for cancer patients, feed the homeless, mow the neighbor’s yard, bake cookies for the neighborhood kids, or anything that uses your passions and skills for good.

Thank you for reading!

Amy McCae

Free Phone Consult

Certified Life Coach and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher

Amy specializes in helping leaders overcome self-doubt and overwhelm so they can have clarity, confidence, and peace of mind for better health, relationships, and success. She offers Mindfulness Matters an accredited online course with or without Life Coaching to individuals and corporations. Amy also offers Life Coaching packages, classes, presentations, and seminars as well as several types of energetic healing.

FREE WEBINAR: How to use Mindfulness Techniques to Reduce Overwhelm

Mindfulness Matters is an accredited, neuroscience based, emotional intelligence program created for developing visionary and conscious leaders. Many leaders struggle with self-doubt and overwhelm. This course insures you gain clarity, confidence, success, and will even help improve your relationships and health!!

Amy spent her childhood dreaming of being a doctor only to watch her mother die of cancer when she was 20. Her life took an entirely different direction after that and she spent much of her 20’s sick with chronic illnesses.

One day Amy was too sick to take care of her newborn baby and she had to crawl to the phone to call for help. Amy then went on a quest to heal and looked in places she never knew existed before that day. AND she healed largely through fitness, nutrition, and meditation.

Through that experience Amy rediscovered a passion for helping others. She is committed to excellence and to making a difference in the world.

Contact Amy today!!!


Stress Relief THIS WAY

Holiday season… This beautiful time of the year brings with it some challenges. More money, more time, more work, crazy family, and more events scheduled on the calendar can all be a recipe for disaster and feeling stressed. I am confident you understand what I mean. However…

What if I told you that at any given time you have the power to make the decision whether or not you feel stressed? Your power always lies in your awareness of this moment.

For many years I have shared a set of skills with specific tools to help people manage stress, create healthier and happier lives, and think more positively. Originally there were only 4 main concepts but about 4 years ago I revised it and even added a 5th. Now this tool box has developed into a journey of self-discovery that even supports improving relationships. Challenging boss at a work party? Crazy family member you have to see this year? 

The path to less stress begins with self-empowerment.

The five ideas you will do well to consider are; Awareness, Acceptance, Attitude, Action, and Acknowledgment.

AWARENESS because ignorance is not always bliss. This is first because it is most important. If you don’t know the details of a situation how can you resolve an issue? If you don’t know yourself how can you be authentic and make conscious decisions? Awareness begins with understanding yourself, your core values, and my favorite: your emotional processes. When you think, speak, and act inline with your core values you live an empowered and successful life. Core Values types of worksheets and meditation would be my first set of suggestions for developing any level of self-awareness. 

ACCEPTANCE. Have you ever heard that phrase that being angry is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die? Well… get over being mad. You are only hurting yourself. AND learn to love yourself. Yes, I am aware that it sounds corny and that is suggested sometimes half-heartedly but… these are absolutely necessary steps to peace of mind. Imposter Syndrome runs rampant it seems. Try “Heartfelt or Living Kindness” Meditation to cultivate compassion for yourself. Consider writing a list of the people you are upset or angry with, why, the emotions you feel, and then burn that sh**. You don’t have control over other people and what they do don’t allow their behavior to control you.

You may not have control over people but you do have control over your ATTITUDE. Attitude is all about your perception. I mean seriously think about this for a moment… Let’s say you are looking at an image of an optical illusion and you are only seeing it one way, but then someone comes along and points out an entirely different image. YOUR perception just changed and you now have two ideas and BOTH are correct! Always, take a moment to take a breath before you speak or act. This will save you and others so much heartache. You never really know what the other person is going through and you never know what you may learn. Make authentic and conscious decisions inline with your values.

Ready, set, ACTION. Let’s keep this simple. Set some clear goals in only 1 or 2 areas of your life and write specific steps. CHOOSE WHAT YOU LOVE not what you think you are suppose to do. Then, get an accountability partner or hire a life coach. Just be clear on your vision and purpose.

Last but most certainly not least we have ACKNOWLEDGMENT.  This is simply gratitude. There is no easier way to shift energy and create happiness than to practice being appreciative. Some creative ways to be grateful are to volunteer/be of service or create a joy jar where you make notes of happy moments and put them in a jar to read at a later time. I found it much easier to get into the actual feeling of being grateful when I shared my appreciation with a friend. Just do it. Do it regularly. It will bring more things to be grateful for into your life.

Each one of these ideas/skills has the potential to lower your stress level. AND more!  If you would like more ideas and more specific practices for each one please contact me. I offer a downloadable extended version as well as a 21 Day Gratitude and Kindness Email Challenge.

Choose wisely. Stress Less. Be Happy. 

Thank you,

Amy McCae

Certified Life Coach and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher

Click below for a free 20 minute focus session

Amy McCae is a Life Coach and Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in Omaha, Nebraska. She is passionate about healing and helping others and especially about mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Amy spent her childhood dreaming of being a doctor only to watch her other die of cancer when she was 20. Her life took an entirely different direction after that and she spent much of her 20’s sick with chronic illnesses.

One day Amy was too sick to take care of her newborn baby and she had to crawl to the phone to call for help. Amy then went on a quest to heal and looked in places she never knew existed before that day. AND she healed largely through fitness, nutrition, and meditation.

The experience allowed her to rediscover her passion for healing and helping others. Amy now holds numerous certifications allowing her to be of support to individuals and organizations. Mindfulness Matters is an accredited 8-week online course rooted in science and inspired by her desire to help others develop emotional intelligence (especially leaders and those struggling with self-doubt and overwhelm). Please contact Amy for more information and to sign up!

Attitude of Gratitude???

How powerful is an attitude of gratitude? Deepak Chopra says; ” Gratitude opens the door to… the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the  door through gratitude.” Wow, seems worthy of exploration! The last of the five spiritual practices that I will mention in this series is Acknowledgment. Acknowledgment is gratitude.

You could have a perfectly laid out plan for your life but it is likely you will get derailed from time to time. It is in these moments of perceived darkness that you have the opportunity to choose which road you want to take, one that will leave you a victim or one that will empower you and allow you freedom. Yes, you can be grateful for the “bad.” It often leads you magical places that you never knew exited before and sometimes even greater that you imagined.

There are some simple ways to incorporate gratitude into your life including  making a written list and adding three new things daily, writing on your mirror so you see it daily, wearing a bracelet with a reminder, or simply at bed time or at meal times and especially with your children. You can also do a “joy jar” where you write down joyful moments as they occur throughout the year and then for New Year’s read through them. You may be surprised at how many experiences you have to be grateful for :)! You can even be grateful for things you have not received!

Being grateful means being mindful. This is one of my favorite topics! I will be writing in-depth on this soon! Rudolph Steiner’s “Soul Exercises” is one of the best ways I have seen to become aware of your thoughts, words, and actions making gratitude flow. You can also create your own daily intention, meditate on it, and ask that you be mindful of the intention throughout the day creating purpose to your daily life.

Today I am grateful for clarity, conscious evolution, healthy children, trust, and freedom.

Many Blessings to you all.

Amy S McCae

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Holistic Life Coach

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Excellence in Love: Five Practices for Creating Authentic Relationships

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Excellence in Love: Five Practices for Creating Authentic Relationships


Through my life experience and through my Holistic Life Coaching practice, I have learned that at the heart of all healing is the desire to find love and to be loved. When you walk around critical of yourself or blaming another for your pain you lose site of who you are and you lose your dreams. When you choose to embrace who you are in all that you think, speak, and do you are in a powerful position to create authentic relationships filled with love. You gain peace, joy, and even better health when you are authentic in all that you do.  Join me Saturday, April 18th at 12:00 CST as part of an online summit to learn more about five practices that create loving, authentic, relationships making for healthier and happier lives. I’m live afterwards to answer your questions. Free gift, discounted Kick Start Session, and special Life Coaching package available to listeners.

You may sign up for the FREE Your Vibrant Life:Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise summit here:

The summit includes 42 top speakers sharing their secrets to health, wealth, relationships, success, gratitude and so much more. You can purchase the recorded audio for ONLY $27 now through Sunday only. Once the summit ends the low price of $27 rises to $67.

To learn more about me please visit my website

Love to you all,

Amy S McCae

Holistic Life Coach

Your Vibrant Life Summit: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise

One of a kind virtual summit begins Monday, April 6! Over 40 speakers sharing their secrets on health, wealth, relationships, success, confidence and so much more. All speakers will be giving away free gifts and discounts and will also be live after the interview to talk to you. If you want to thrive in your life, are seeking transformation, and want to be empowered then this summit is for you. Read the details and join here :


My interview is Saturday, April 18 at 12:00 Central Standard Time. I will be discussing five practices for creating authentic relationships. I have realized that love and relationships, including the ones with ourselves, play a vital role in healing. I believe that when we align who we are with what we think, speak, and do that we are incredibly powerful and create the love, peace, joy, and even health that we desire. Listeners will receive a free Core Values worksheet, a discounted Kick Start session  as well as a discounted package deal to dig deeper.

Looking forward to talking to you!

Amy McCae

Transformational Life Coach

Creating Health and Happiness

There are only three things that can make your dreams a reality; your thoughts, your words, and your actions. If you desire healing in any form and want more joy in your daily life then you would be wise to consider changing your thinking, speaking kindly, and taking action steps to reach your goals.

Let’s consider the mind, my favorite subject, for a moment.  Deeply rooted in your subconscious are beliefs that help create your reality in the physical world. Some of this was learned, some of it decided before you came here, all of it accessible and able to be changed for your greater good if you choose to utilize certain practices such as meditation.

As for speaking, your words also have creative energy. Speak kindly of yourself and others. Use words that feel good. My sense of humor tends to be on the side of sarcasm and I would do well to find a way to be more positive in cracking jokes about myself.

Action. Yes, you will have to actually do something to get something. Although, there is good in stopping and just being. You will need to have clarity on a goal as well as what steps you will need to do take to achieve success. The goal and the steps will need to be clearly defined and realistic.

I believe that the way to creating health and happiness begins with knowing yourself. You need to know what you are passionate about, you need find clarity on what you really want as well as what it looks like and feels like, you need support, encouragement and love, you need believe in yourself, and you need to trust that all is well.

There are five basic principles for creating a healthy and happy life; awareness (self-empowerment at its best), acceptance (somewhat more challenging), attitude (yes, you have a choice), action (do something), and acknowledgment (gratitude). Utilizing these five principles will change your life. Knowing how to use them is key.

I offer online, phone, and in person coaching sessions that can show you how to use these principles to change your life.  I am available to teach these to organizations and am teaching a class on November 6 on how to use these principles to manage stress. Please register online at for the November 6th class and please visit my website at

Many Blessings

Amy S McCae

Wellness and Lifestyle Coach