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Practicing Gratitude – But Why?

It’s November, which means everyone is writing about gratefulness, gratitude, and how to live a life of being thankful. 


But why? Why do we talk about ways to be grateful when moving through life? Does it change anything? 


In short – it depends!


It depends on how you implement these practices and the belief and desire to see an experience shift. We are utilizing the experience of a frequency illusion. This thought game was popularized by what’s been called the “yellow car phenomenon.” The experience is that you never notice yellow cars on the road until you buy one, and then you notice them everywhere. Your brain looks for patterns and sees things it is familiar with. By implementing these gratitude practices, you can start to notice more items in your life to be grateful for, improving your overall attitude, and the positive cycle continues! Implementing these things with the mindset of “I have to” and “This won’t work” absolutely will not change things as well, but even then, it can start to highlight a few small areas if you are still putting down things you are thankful for. 


So what are some ideas? Here are some of our favorites to recommend to clients and that we use ourselves! 


Gratitude Journal – This is one of the most common but practical gratitude exercises! At the end of each day, take a moment to write out some things that happened that day you are thankful for. Ending the day with a positive mindset helps you fall asleep more peacefully and start the next day out a bit lighter and with a brighter outlook.


Three Things about _______________  – I love personalizing this one for a spouse, kids, friends or situation! Creating a list each day of three things you are specifically grateful for related to one person or topic can improve the overall outlook of that person or thing. Especially when you share those things with that person, it can build closeness between you! 


Transition Thankfulness – Transition periods during our days can sometimes be the most stressful. These are the transition from bed to getting ready. Being in the car and driving to work. Going from work to home. Getting ready for bed at the end of the day, etc… By using these times as dedicated times to focus on what is coming up that is positive it can improve your outlook for that next part of the day. 


Are you ready to make a significant change to live a life with peace and gratitude? Counseling can help! Reach out to get started with an appointment today!