April: Counting one’s blessings

It’s April – finally: it’s spring time! I love this time of the year, when everything starts to blossom. When everything starts to flourish again. And so shall you. As you sow, so shall you reap.

Gratitude is one of my favourite topics in Positive Psychology. There is not much that has such a strong link to wellbeing as gratitude does. And the best thing about it: you don’t need anyone or anything to practice it.

The law of attraction says ‘what you send energy to, will come back to you’. Thus, when you start to sow positive thoughts, you will enhance positive energy, and eventually, this positive energy will return to you.

When I first started practicing gratitude, I used to practice the well-known ‘Three Good Things‘ and wrote down three things or moments that I’ve been grateful for every evening (if you want to make use of the digital version, you can download this app). It worked out well, however, later during my Positive Psychology journey, I came across the following exercise which I was even more attracted to.

Counting One’s Blessing (Emmons & McCullough, 2003)

In several studies, researchers ask their participants to ‘count their blessings’ by writing down five things that they are grateful for. This could be general things like ‘my partner’s kindness’ as well as very specific experiences like ‘the baby that smiled to me in the train’. It doesn’t really matter which things we list as long as we are really grateful for them.
We benefit from regularly listing several things or experiences that we feel gratitude for by becoming more mindful for those ‘happy moments’ and also because we increase our appreciation for those moments. Research has shown that counting one’s blessings lead to more positive moods, better physical health and a greater sense of social connectedness.
Moreover, studies demonstrated the highest effect of those gratitude interventions when we practice them once a week for at least 6 weeks.
So, if you intrinsically desire to become happier, this activity can be a real push for you!

However, I want to mention, that forcing yourself to be grateful for something that you’re not really grateful for can also be counterproductive, when people are depressed or in a constant negative mood since it might initiate more feelings of not being where/how you want to be. So, if you don’t feel mentally healthy, please be careful with this intervention!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me!! 🙂
Have a great 1st of April and a month full of gratitude.

Sending love and sun ♥,
Kira

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