This is the first exercise that I ever started practicing when I began my mental health journey back in the relative Stone Age.
What I love about this exercise is that it always ends up flooring people in terms of the impact it can have in terms of helping them better understand the power of their own conscious mind.
Not to mention, it’s just a great mindset to adopt and practice in general.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of how this exercise works, I would like put in a disclaimer:
This exercise is highly abusable.
In fact, I’m yet to see it not be abused, although I’m sure this is no different to any of the other exercises on NeverFap Deluxe.
What I essentially mean to say that most people end up using this exercise in an unhealthy way, as an excuse to act out of delusion rather than awareness.
Where they no longer even practice the expression of gratitude, and instead pursue “gratitude” under the guise of full-blown mania.
Which is totally understandable, because discovering these feelings of gratitude for the first time can be a bit like discovering emotional crack.
Which when you’ve been depressed and dysfunctional for so long, can push us towards taking these emotions a little too far without us realising it.
I suppose it’s no different to when you first began addressing your porn addiction and you began feeling all sorts of positive things which made it feel as if you’d developed “super powers”.
Which over time began to disappear the longer you tried to beat your addiction, and which eventually turned into cynicism once those benefits had disappeared completely.
Well, that’s kind of what happens when you discover this feeling of gratitude for the first time.
The other thing to note about gratitute is that it needs to be understood as a tool for change.
As opposed to a hard philosophy to live your life by.
For example, the principles of gratitude are not strictly compatible with the principles of neutrality, and yet both philosophies are incredibly useful ways of thinking about life.
So really, it can help to think of this exercise as a perspective exercise for you to learn from.
Regardless, for beginners this exercise can be a great way to have that “spark” of awareness which allows us to realise that there is hope in terms of being able to control our minds.
So let’s get to it!
For starters, I would describe gratitude as a feeling, which can then progress into a state-of-mind once you’ve embraced this feeling for long enough.
And what we intend to do with this exercise is express gratitude in everything we do.
Of course, what exactly is gratitude and how do you express it?
In order to answer these question it can help to understand the fundamentals of expression, as well as how we can learn to express ourselves more effectively.
In this particular case, what we are expressing is gratitude: Which is that feeling of being grateful.
It’s the feeling being thankful for your own existence. It’s the feeling of not taking your own life for granted. It’s the feeling of appreciation you have for yourself and your possessions, not as something that is deserving of you, but something which you have been blessed with.
Often we take what we have in life for granted, and what we are doing with this exercise is learning to be grateful for what we have instead.
And it all comes down to regularly practicing the expression of gratitude.
Afterall, you may genuinely not know what it means to be grateful, in part because you may have never felt it in any meaningful way.
Well, there’s never been a better time to start than now.
For this exercise I want you try and express gratitude throughout your day.
In other words, to notice and acknowledge what you have in life and be thankful for things.
I’m sure you’ve felt thankful before in the past when someone has helped you get through a tough situation or has simply complimented you in some way.
Well, that’s largely how we want to feel towards ourselves and for the things we have in life.
Thankful to be alive. Thankful to be aware enough to be able to address our mental health problems. Thankful even to have working lungs which allow us to breathe, and for our intelligence which allows us to comprehend this information.
There are so many things for you to be grateful for, and how you choose to express this is entirely up to you.
Happy hunting, folks.