Hello there. My name is Shelby, and I am one of the many counselors at the Works Counseling Center. Today, l am here to chat with you about gratitude. How is your relationship with practicing gratitude lately? As Thanksgiving is approaching in the States this month, many of us are encouraged to focus on the things and people that we are grateful for, especially in the last year. However, if you are finding yourself in a difficult season, cultivating gratitude can become more of a challenge. That’s okay. A practice may still benefit you, and even help you get through the busy holiday season.

Let’s check in.

Maybe gratitude is something that you already practice daily, maybe you are inconsistent, or maybe you have never intentionally practiced having a relationship with gratitude at all. Here are some tips to help strengthen your current practice or help you get started with one.

1. Create a Gratitude Journal

A common method used to start a gratitude practice is to create a gratitude journal. If it feels right for you, allow yourself to purchase and decorate a notebook. If that’s not your style, don’t force it. This journal doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or grandiose, heck, it could even be a note in your phone. The important thing here is to be intentional; check in with your journal daily at a consistent time, if you are able. Try asking yourself the following: What are three things that you are grateful for today? That may seem too simplistic, but it’s really a great place to start. If you find yourself wanting to write the same things over and over again, that’s okay. This practice is less about what you write down and more about how you write. As long as you are staying present and not doing this activity on autopilot, you are showing up for your practice.

Bonus Points: Notice if there are any recurrent themes in your journal. If there are, ask yourself how much attention you are giving to things. If the answer is not much, assess the spaces where you can create more time either now or in the near future to participate in the things that fill your cup. These are often the things that keep us going in times of stress.

2. ABC’s of Gratitude

If you are someone who has been in an intentional gratitude practice for a while and are in a slump, this practice may be for you. The ABC’s of gratitude challenges you to go through the entire alphabet and name something that you are grateful for as you go through each letter. This may look like being grateful for apples, bananas, cats, etc… until you go through the whole alphabet. Invite someone to join you and make a game of this exercise. Let yourself be silly; let yourself have fun.

3. Gratitude Doesn’t Discount the Challenges

Oftentimes, the greatest challenge to practicing gratitude is our brain’s ability to focus on the exact opposite. It can feel especially hard to practice gratitude when we get too bogged down in what keeps us stuck. The power of gratitude is not meant to take away or devalue the challenges you are facing, but to aid you with more armor as you navigate the hard stuff so you can keep going.

If you find yourself consistently feeling stuck in your gratitude practice, or constantly hung up on all of the things that aren’t going well, it may be helpful to invite someone in to help you uncover and remember what brings you joy. Feel free to reach out to our front desk to learn more about inviting a professional counselor on your journey.

WCC Group

Let’s check in again soon.

P: 615-570-1190
E: intake@workscounselingcenter.com