The Innerspace Station Podcast

Episode #8: KK Jams on Gratitude

episode #8

KK jams on gratitude

how gratitude changes your brain


"Indeed many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed."

Welcome Innerspace Surfer and spirited soul.. Today’s Episode topic touches on a practice that can get poo-poo’d as kinda “BASIC”, but it’s one of MY personal favorites and it ALWAYS brings me back to what’s REALLY important. So let’s spend a lil time today to JAM on – GRATITUDE.

By definition GRATITUDE is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Cool cool cool…but let’s explore a lil deeper yea?

New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to actually improve our mental health. This Episode draws on evidence from the article “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain” from’s, Greater Good Magazine (online). I’ll cover these four takeaway’s from the research & my own personal Gratitude daily practice methods.

1. Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions
2. Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it
3. Gratitude’s benefits take time
4. Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain

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What We're Exploring

on this episode, we're talking about:
  • Gratitude practices

  • How practicing gratitude writing can impact mental health

Audio Transcript

Welcome to the Cosmic Innerspace podcast. I’m Kammie K interspace surfer and cosmic creator at Are you ready to launch a business? Expand your cosmic consciousness, amp your intuition, or simply celebrate the everyday messiness of being human. Then the cosmetics interspace podcast is for you, inside each episode, we’ll demystify the mystical and provide practical magic for everyday alchemy.

We honor an intuitive and spirited lifestyle that elevates and explores life’s multidimensional mystery. Eavesdrop in on conversations with artists and authors, kick ass creatives, entrepreneurs, and everyday interspace surfers, just like you, who are diving deep and glowing up in a whole new world. Stay tuned for interspace best practices and sustainable business tools to help you.

Now, let these stories inspire you to cultivate your curiosity, elevate your mindset, and explore your own cosmics inner space. Let’s dive into the show. Welcome interspace surfer. Let’s start this episode with a few deep breaths to ground and center ourselves. Wherever you are, the car taking a walk, maybe you’re cleaning the bathroom. Let’s share this moment and tune in. So let’s take a deep breath, hold it in, let it out. 

Regardless of whatever everyday madness or magic moment that you’re currently experiencing. We can always come back to our breath. It feels good to shake that up a little bit. Right? Okay. So this leads us perfectly into another practice that can get poo-pooed as kind of basic, but it’s one of my personal favorites and it always brings me back to what’s really important.

So let’s spend a little time today and jam on all things gratitude. By definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful. Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Cool. Cool. Cool. But let’s explore a little deeper. Yeah. New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to actually improve our mental health in the article, “How gratitude changes you and your brain” from, a greater good magazine. Recent evidence suggests that it’s a promising approach to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing but yield high results. The article continues to say in our own research, we have zeroed in on one such activity, the practice of gratitude.

 Indeed many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed. Their question, is gratitude beneficial for people who struggle with mental health concerns? And if so how? In a recent study involving nearly 300 adults, mostly college students, who were seeking mental health counseling at a university.

They recruited participants just before they began their first counseling session. And on average, they reported clinically low levels of mental health at the time. The majority of people seeking counseling services, in general, struggled with issues related to depression and anxiety. And who hasn’t struggled with depression or anxiety throughout 2020?

And now even into 2021? They randomly assigned participants into three groups. All three groups did receive counseling services. And the first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person each week for three weeks. Whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative emotions and experiences.

The third group did not do any writing activity. What did this research find? Well, compared with the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counseling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health, four and 12 weeks after the writing exercises ended.

This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial, not just for healthy well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone. Even when that gratitude practice is brief.

And that’s not all, this study also found indications of how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. While not definitive for insights evolved from this research suggesting what might be behind gratitude’s psychological benefits. Want to know what those four insights of how gratitude works, its magic on our brains and bodies?

Of course, you do. Okay. First gratitude, unshackled us from toxic emotions. By analyzing the words used by participants in each of the two writing groups, the researchers were able to understand the mechanisms behind the mental health benefits of gratitude letter writing. And if you’ve studied any law of attraction or hypnotherapy or heck even basic marketing courses teach us about the power of our word choices. Then this should come as no surprise. Those in the gratitude writing group use a higher percentage of positive emotion words, and we word, and a lower proportion of negative emotion words than those in the negative writing group, it was only when people used fewer negative emotion words in their letters that they were significantly more likely to report better mental health.

In fact, it was the lack of negative emotion words, not the abundance of positive words that explained the mental health gap between the gratitude writing group and the other writing group. Perhaps this suggests that gratitude letter writing produces better mental health by shifting one’s attention away from toxic emotions, such as resentment and envy.

When you write about how grateful you are, About others and how much they’ve blessed your life. It might become considerably harder for you to ruminate on your negative experiences. So it’s the shift in focus that really flips the script for this. Okay. The second insight was gratitude helps even if you don’t share it.

Participants were told to write gratitude letters, but they weren’t required to send their letters to a recipient. In fact, only 23% of participants who wrote gratitude letters, even sent them. Those who didn’t send their letters still enjoy the benefits of experiencing gratitude. So the key to this insight is even if you don’t actually send or share the letter, write it anyway.

We know from studies about the subconscious mind, that feeling is what’s most important to shift and elevate those emotions. And if you haven’t already listened to episode number five, where I chat with my friend and hypnotherapist Jerry, we touch on the subconscious and the feelings that stimulate real shifts in our mind.

So definitely go back and give number five of. So it’s the mere act of writing the letter that can help you appreciate the people in your life and shift your focus away from negative feelings and thoughts. All right the third insight from this study, gratitude benefits take time. The study notes that the mental health benefits of gratitude writing did not emerge immediately, but gradually over time, the individuals in the gratitude group reported better mental health than the others four weeks after writing activities. And the greater difference in mental health became even larger 12 weeks after the writing activity. Researchers state they don’t really know why this positive snowball effect occurred in their study. Perhaps the gratitude letter writers discussed what they wrote in their letters with their counselors or with others in their lives.

And those conversations may have reinforced the psychological benefits derived from gratitude writing. Bottom line if you participate in a gratitude writing activity, don’t be surprised if you don’t feel dramatically better immediately after the writing experience, but be patient. And remember that the benefits of gratitude might take a little time to kick in.

It’s no quick fix or magic pill, but there really isn’t any magic pill is there. And finally, gratitude has lasting effects on the brain. Interestingly, when researchers compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, the gratitude letter writers showed greater activation and the medial prefrontal cortex.

Say that into a mic fast three times. When they experienced gratitude in an fMRI scanner, this is striking as this effect was found three months after the letter writing began. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. So while not conclusive, this finding suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line.

And this could contribute to improved mental health. So to wrap these findings up, regardless of whether you’re facing serious psychological challenges, if you’ve never written a gratitude letter before this research suggests that you try it. So much of our time and energy is spent in hot pursuit of things, we currently don’t have.

Gratitude refocuses our priorities to help us appreciate the people, experience and things that we already do have I’ll go ahead and link the article in the show notes. If you’re interested in diving deeper into that research. In my own experience, both during periods of time when things were flowing and I felt elevated and most especially when I’m feeling low or funked out, a gratitude practice always keeps me grounded, centered and focused on all the good I already have.

As a future-oriented person, I can get a bit too focused on hashtag goals, hashtag slay, hashtag glowing. So checking into my gratitude practice on the daily reminds me that right here and right now, There’s a whole lotta to be thankful for. I even created a piece of artwork that says thank you as a prayer, as a visual reminder for myself to stay present and to just keep saying, thank you.

So stay tuned for magnet and car drops in the KK shop later this year. Each time we say, thank you. We utter a prayer, a wish, and a call out to our divine source. That energetically vibrates as a big old hell yes. And as the article from Berkeley says, it’s more about the feeling and emotion generated from listing and focusing on these things that we’re grateful for that shift our minds into our more positive headspace.

This ripple effect then allows us more energy to step into the actions that we need to take to get us launched, or baby stepped into those future fantasies and manifestations that we get so amped up about. Through the years, on my own spiritual journey, I’ve been religious about keeping gratitude journals.

Sometimes it’s been daily. Sometimes it’s a few months at a time. Currently, I’m jotting down five daily GS in my phone and then I text it to my gratitude, accountability, buddy, Tony, and share them on Instagram. Want to join me and post your daily GS. That’ll be so fun. Okay. Follow at So that’s KammieK.Com on Instagram.

And then tag me when you post yours and I’ll reshare them out with the community. Oh, that’d be so fun. Let’s start a daily G virtual party and celebrate the things we feel grateful for in community. Here’s why that might not actually be a bad idea. Okay, one cool thing. I’ve experienced this past year of sharing my gratitudes with Tony is actually watching and witnessing his growth and expansion. It’s been such a blessing to see my friend expand his awareness and his mindfulness, but most of all, expanding his heart. So it started as an accountability thing, but it’s really shifted into a mutual admiration committee and deeper support of one another.

All right, three things I’m grateful for right now. One for Brendan Shanahan of the podcast pro shop for his editing and production skills and making me and this show sounds so, dang good. If you happen to be looking for some sound magic, you can find podcasts pro shop at I had to give him a little shout-out right there.

I’m also grateful, always for the sun and the moon rising and setting and guiding me each day. And I’m so grateful for you for listening and supporting this baby budding podcast for supporting my creative projects and dreams. And for sharing this episode with a friend or someone in your life who you think would gain value from this little jam on gratitude, maybe share it with someone you’re thankful for. Thank you so much for sharing your time and space with me today and for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode of the cosmetics Innerspace podcast, please leave a review on apple podcasts. Or share this episode with a friend, shout out to our amazing sound editor and producer Xtrordinair, Brendan Shanahan. The Cosmics interspace podcast is proudly produced by the podcast pro shop at I’d love to stay connected with you. I’m at on Instagram. And I share a lot more cosmics goodness, on Instagram stories. And of course we can always stay connected via the cosmics interspace mothership over on the blog, where you can find ways to work with me, stay tuned for new art and interspace support in the KK shop and subscribe to the cosmics e-news to stay updated for future programs and on demand course drops. Okay, friend, until next time I’m sending you Stardust and so much love.

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