Gratitude, well being
Create a list, as quickly as you possibly can in less than five minutes, of twenty things for which you are grateful.
Even if nothing very “large” comes to mind, list anything that you’re happy to have and would be worse off without.
Do this rapidly and try to list them in the order that they occur to you.
After the list is finished. Don’t add anything more. Just look at it and think about it with the questions below.
Ask yourself,Why did I forget certain things that only NOW come to my mind? Does this show an inner priority that is a dynamic of my personality, or is it merely an artifact of how my memory works?
If I can think of these things, even with so little time, so easily, why don’t I have more feelings of gratitude and a greater enjoyment of my daily bounties?
Is there a relationship between gratitude and my general emotional well being? When I’m depressed, is it even possible for me to count my blessings?
Does gratitude affect my physical well-being? What is the “energy cost” of a chronic lack of gratitude in my life? If I practice this exercise often, will I heal myself in various ways?
What effect would it have on my life if I had a habit of being grateful for even the smallest things?
When I put my attention on a concept as I have done in this exercise, and I see how I can generate a group of thoughts about a subject, what does this teach me about the power of directing my attention? What does it do to my sense of responsibility for my daily experiences?
When I consider all the possibilities I have for showing gratitude, how much of my day could I take up doing so? Do I have to “budget” how much mental energy, time and effort I allow myself to manifest gratitude, or can I find a way to have it as a “background” feature of existence?