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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Tech Support to Help Us Count Our Blessings

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Sep 7th 2012

thank youAll the world’s wisdom traditions and recent science have pointed to the efficacy of counting our blessings. Robert Emmons and Michael McCollough (2003) conducted a study a while back called Counting Blessings versus Burdens where they found a significant impact in well-being when counting blessings during the day. But because the brain is wired toward routine and counting blessings isn’t one of them, this becomes hard to remember. Here’s a piece of technology that can help us remember.

I came across this application from a reader’s comments. Grateful360 nudges you with a text or email about four times a day to ask you to take a moment to reflect on a few things you’re grateful for. So you intentionally text or email back a few things. These nuggets of gratitude are then stored in their database and sent back to you of all the things you had been grateful for. 

Now here’s the rub. All things become routine and what likely happens with most people is over a short period of time the “wow-factor” of this new app starts to slide because the brain has mapped its system and the texts start to pile up, we don’t take the time anymore and soon we choose to just disconnect from the service as it’s “just another thing to do.” 

But, what if you treated as your very own research experiment for one week? Here would be the instructions.  

 

  1. Sign up for the app (By the way, I have no affiliation to this company or application I just think it can be supportive as a tool).

  2. When you get the prompts, take a few deep breaths and really consider, what are some things you are grateful for? Review
  3. When you get the weekly email back with a log of all the things you are grateful for, start with a mindful check-in. Take a few deep breaths, notice how you are physically, emotionally and mentally and then from this place of presence, read over the list. 

 

Try this out for one or two weeks, really give it a shot and then ask yourself when the experiment is over, what did this do for me? Did this have a positive impact on me? Would this be worth continuing this next week? If so, set the intention to try the experiment again.

Someone, making things an experiment makes us more likely to follow through. The reality is your experience is your best teacher. Give it a shot.

Why not, there’s nothing to lose here and potentially so much to gain. 

 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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