Practicing Gratitude: 3 Practical Tips

A woman writes in a gratitude journal while drinking a cup of coffee. Practicing gratitude is proven to provide anxiety relief. Sweitzer Counseling shows you how.

The role of gratitude has been explored extensively in social science research in recent decades. What researchers have discovered is that when it comes to anxiety relief and improvement in overall happiness and wellbeing, practicing gratitude works! Learn more about the role of gratitude for anxiety relief in my recent blog post.

There are multiple ways to integrate a gratitude practice in your life. Here are three simple suggestions based on research:

    Gratitude Journal

    Research has shown that doing this exercise weekly, rather than daily, yields greater benefits. So once a week, write down 3 things you’re grateful for. Here are some questions to get you started:
    • Who are the people in my life that I appreciate?
    • Were there events that happened this week that were special and meaningful to me?
    • What characteristics do I most appreciate in myself?
    • What would my life be like without ___(important person)___ in it? How has this person enriched my life?

    Gratitude Letter

      Write a letter expressing thanks to someone. If a letter feels overwhelming or you perceive that you don’t have time, just write a sentence and see where that takes you. If you feel led, email or mail it to the person.

        Add a Gratitude Item to a Daily Checklist

        As mentioned in my anxiety and gratitude blog post, I have daily checklists I review to bookend my days. I practice David Allen’s Getting Things Done (“GTD”) methodology which advocates for the regular use of checklists.
        If this type of system works for you, consider adding one of the following questions to a morning checklist:
        • What am I looking forward to doing today? 
        • How am I contributing to the good in my own and others’ lives today?
        If you have an end of day checklist, consider adding:
        • What am I grateful for from the day?
        • What did I learn today?

        Helpful resource for gratitude practices:
        Greater Good Science Center at Berkley


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        What Fellow Clinicians That Know My Work Have Said About Me

        Dr. Maggie Walsh, LPC, RPT

        I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Brent to support many shared clients throughout the years. He is very intentional in his clinical practice and works exceptionally hard to serve his clients. Shared clients have described Brent as warm, caring, knowledgeable and helpful.

        Marty Altman, LPC

        As a fellow counselor, I know that Brent Sweitzer does high quality work and serves his clients very well. He is insightful, caring, and encouraging and not afraid to be honest when needed. He is very experienced, trained by some of the best possible teachers, and he has honed his skills well through years of practicing. I would trust him to treat my own family members.


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