Therapy Thursday

4 Steps to a Deeper Gratitude

Image source:


  • Try to recognize the small ways people show kindness to you. 
  • If you are not certain about another person’s motivation give him/her the benefit of the doubt. More caring may come your way than you are aware!

Relaxing and Receiving

  • We cannot receive a precious moment, or an act of kindness, if we are not aware!
  • Many of us may feel that we do not deserve the gift, compliment, smile, or hug. Shame can block our receptors, causing us to be incapable of receiving  kindness, which is a form of narcissism. We become consumed by the self-consciousness of shame (we do not deserve the act of kindness) or fear (we have a big ego or obligated to give back).
  • Next time another person offers you kindness, try accepting it. Take slow, deep breaths and allow your attention to rest comfortably inside your body (or be aware of any discomfort).
  • How can you relax and receive the next gift, compliment, smile, or hug a little more deeply?


  • We often do not allow ourselves to relish the good things in life.
  • Do we fear that people will think we are self-centered?
  • Are we afraid that the pleasurable moment will not last?
  • According to the teachings of Buddhism, everything passes and nothing is permanent. However, we can still relish the good vibes that come our way, allow these vibes to pass, and be open to the new moment.
  • Pema Chodron, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, shares, “The trick is to enjoy it fully but with out clinging.”
  • The next another person gives you a gift, compliment, smile, or hug, gently hold the good or warm feeling inside of you. Allow this feeling to simply be and expand as much as desired.


  • When another person offers a gift, compliment, smile, or hug to us, we often respond with an automatic “thank you”.
  • Our response would be much richer if we paused and took a moment to more deeply recognizereceive, and relish the kind act or word.  We would be able to respond in a more creative and touching way, such as: a warm smile, astonishment in our eyes, or an excited exclamation, “Oh wow!”
  • The next time another person gives you a gift, compliment, smile, or hug, before responding with the automatic “thank you”, allow this good feeling to build or grow. Do not feel pressured to respond  quickly. Spend extra time to be aware of what would feel like a “right” response from you at the present moment.



Amondeo, J. (2018). 4 steps to a deeper gratitude. Psych Central. Retrieved from Accessed on November 17, 2019.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: