Counting gratitudes is an often mentioned positive psychology exercise that is known to support well-being. Today I want to say a few words about how to maximise this practice and really make it work for you.
Gratitude, like any concept, is something you can think about. You can identify things that you appreciate, notice them, smile and move on.
Or, you can take some time to drop into your body, and really feel thankfulness. You can open your heart, and allow yourself to embody the thank you. Different spiritual traditions have different ways of expressing this, hands together in a gesture of prayer, bowing to the floor, raising your hands upwards and outwards. We are each different, and how we express thankfulness is different too. When you embody ‘thank you’ what shape does your body take on?
Why not take some time today to tune in to what you deeply appreciate. Your health? Your loved ones? Your home? Having food to eat? Sunshine? Nature? Your work? Individual to you, identify what the most fundamental things are that you are really thankful for. And then, feel that thank you in your body.
Notice what happens to your energy as you express gratitude. Notice what your body feels like. How your mind changes. What emotions come up.
Having done this, I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to do it often. Gratefulness is a great antidote for anxiety.