The Art of Gratitude

morning sun

By Polly Guetta

Cultivating gratitude has long been recognized as a key approach to experiencing deeper levels of happiness, fulfillment, and well-being. In the seventeenth century, Dutch philosopher Rabbi Baruch Spinoza suggested that in order to develop a practice of gratitude that becomes second nature we commit to answering the following questions every day for a month:

Who or what inspired me today?
What brought me happiness today?
What brought me comfort and deep peace today?

By answering these questions daily in a journal, you can start to take more notice of the beauty and joy in life and this can lead to a meaningful change in your general outlook.  As you write down your thoughts, try to have original entries every day – this will challenge you to take note of the little things that brightened your day, touched your heart, or made you smile.

To help get you started on a daily gratitude practice, I asked some of MDABC staff and supporters to share their answers to one or more of the questions. Here are some of their entries:

From Lisa Kleiman, MDABC Support Group Facilitator:
What brought me happiness today?

I am so grateful for every single day. For sitting in my favourite coffee shop. Meeting friends, seeing family, working, volunteering, facilitating. I take nothing for granted. This time last year I was very sick and in hospital. Thinking I will never see wellness again. It was so scary to think there was no hope for recovery. I feel so blessed to have my mental health back. I am able to attend MDABC workshops to help me get even stronger. I use my tools that I have to keep myself in wellness.

I know what I almost lost and to be well today I am so very grateful.

 From Valentina Chichiniova, Counsellor at MDABC:

Who or what inspired me today? Watching an old couple holding hands and supporting one another.


What brought me happiness today?
Watching the beautiful cloudy sky and noticing the amazing variety in shades of grey, white, purple and yellow.


What brought me comfort and deep peace today? 
Talking to my mom.

 

From Teri Doerksen, Receptionist at the Counselling and Wellness Centre at MDABC:

Who or what inspired me today?

Martin (Executive Director of MDABC) inspired me today at the staff meeting – he reminded me that all of the work I do is to help a person with mental health issues cope and begin to recover.

Thanks for sharing everyone. If you’d like to share your gratitude post, please comment!

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