November 16, 2017

Practicing Gratitude

Anxiety & Depression
Mental Health & Wellbeing

Thich Nhat Hanh, author and monk, speaks about mindfulness and the present moment. I quote him saying, “Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and now.”

Author and priest Henri Nouwen speaks about gratitude saying, “The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”

Each of these authors provides us with insight about how to experience connectedness, joy, and life. It is in combining mindful presence and gratitude that you can experience deep connection and presence with your own life.

Here is a simple exercise combining the two: be mindful of your present moment while practicing gratitude:

  1. Start walking. This can be your daily commute, in between classes, or walking your dog. Literally, it can be done anywhere.
  2. Look around and name five things you are thankful for in the people around you. Just notice them.
  3. Next, do the same for whatever nature or setting that surrounds you. Name five things you are thankful for in your environment.
  4. And lastly, take time to notice and be thankful for five things you appreciate in yourself.

It is in the simple task of mindfully noticing that life explodes richness and depth all around and in you. Implementing this simple discipline in your daily routine can transform a monotonous experience into a grounded moment, bringing awareness to present joy around you.

Start practicing mindful gratitude today! Enjoy

Written by therapist Keri Sawyer


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