Acknowledging the Strange Power of Gratitude

How often do you count your blessings? How often do you list the things you’re grateful for? I saw first-hand the strange power of gratitude when I spoke to my therapist Monday. For most of the meeting, I complained about two things: my ex, and my step-father’s death. Now, both of these things have affected my life on a deep level. After an hour of talking about how angry I was, my therapist asked me to do something odd.

Name fourteen things either good about myself or that I’m grateful for. Seven for each bad thing on my mind.

So I did. I came up with things like good friends. Roommates that like me.

Somehow, I came up with fourteen items on my little list of gratitude.

As I named each one, I allowed myself to feel my gratitude for them. I started smiling by the time fourteen came along. My list didn’t bring my step-father back. It didn’t bring my former marriage back. It did, however, give my mind a clearer focus on all that I do have. Give it a try next time you’re down. Name seven things you’re grateful for. Sincerely, genuinely grateful for. You’ll be surprised how much of a mood lift it can be.

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