COVID-19 needs no introduction. It’s the talk of the town all over the world and mentioned daily on every news outlet and social media platform.
This series of articles is not about COVID-19. It’s about you.
Our newsletter Weathering the Storm is a source of curated tips and strategies to help you weather the COVID-19 storm. This newsletter is inspired by actual clients* and written by experienced psychologists.
*All client names are fictional and presenting issues are composites of client experiences.
She missed celebrating her grandfather’s 80th birthday and the birth of her nephew due to the pandemic. She’s upset and sad about not being with her loved ones for these momentous events.
She’s been having a hard time feeling grateful lately…and understandably so. During these difficult times, it’s natural to focus on what we’re missing, what’s unpleasant and what’s going badly.
But lest we forget, the glass can be half empty and half full ; the half we choose to focus on will have a profound effect on our mood and wellbeing.
So what if we told Anna 1 exercise – requiring no dumbbells or yoga mat – can help shift her attention to the half full mindset ?
Enter the Gratefulness Exercise.
Here’s how it works : Once a day, think about or write down three things you’re grateful for. The concept, although simple in theory, yields powerful results.
Following these 3 simple guidelines will help provide optimal results when practicing the gratefulness exercise :
1.Choose something simple
No need to find life-changing things to be grateful about. It can be as simple as:
- Having a roof over your head
- Nice weather
- Streaming a great show
2. Choose something new
Try to pick something different every day. If you mention the same three things everyday, the exercise doesn’t really engage your “gratitude muscles”. The purpose of the exercise is to make the effort to find things you’re grateful for even on the worst of days.
3.Choose something you experienced
Don’t mention what “did not happen” Thinking “I’m grateful I didn’t have an accident”, for example, simply reinforces negative thoughts. Instead, strive to identify things you experienced you’re grateful for.
Choosing to start (or re-start) practicing gratefulness will help the silver lining shine through… even on the cloudiest days.
PsyMontreal is a network of licensed psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists offering psychotherapy services in-person, by phone and via videoconferencing.
To schedule an appointment, contact us at 514-337-2473 ext. 0. We’re available 24/7 to answer your calls.