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Practicing Gratitude

Your Mind - high res

Gratitude, opening your heart in appreciation, is a wonderful feel­ing: It feels good physically, and it feels good mentally and emotion­ally. With its constant search for problems that may not even exist, my default programming is fabulous at making me worry rather than focusing on all the good things to be grateful about. Practicing feeling gratitude is part of learning to be mindful and to feel good about myself and the world, to be in the present instead of remain­ing in my fear-dominated past.

Here’s the gratitude exercise my therapist Robin L. Kay, Ph.D., gave me to help me create a new template for gratitude. Practicing this is an effective way of reprogramming yourself to create new neural pathways for positive feelings and behavior.

Gratitude Exercise

  1. Name ten things in your life you feel grateful for.
  2. Now, one at a time, say to yourself silently each of the things you are grateful for (notice the physical sensations you expe­rience as you feel grateful for it). For example, you might silently say to yourself, “I’m grateful for my health, I’m grate­ful I have a house to live in, I’m grateful I am not in a war-torn country, I’m grateful I am not impoverished.”
  3. Think mindfully and really feel the gratefulness for each item.
  4. Do this every day and keep searching for additional items each time to expand yourself, your positive feelings, and your creativity.


An excerpt from my recent book, Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living, now available at Amazon.

  • 25 May, 2015
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 19 Tags

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