As Thanksgiving week wraps up, are we coming back to work and returning to the normal grind of behavioral healthcare? Did we exhaust all of our gratitude and giving thanks to our family and friends over the last week, or are we continuing to practice mindful gratitude in our daily routine?

One of my favorite resources is, a website filled with articles, daily practices, podcasts, and more. I have subscribed Willow Haven to their magazine that comes out bi-monthly. It makes a good addition to the coffee table, but also makes a great magazine for collage making with lots of great phrases and pictures. The articles are a great resource if you are looking for any supplemental group materials.

In a recent October article, they provided a quick gratitude practice to help us practice a little mindfulness during some of our automatic and daily actions. They state the benefits of gratitude include, “strengthening your immune system and improving sleep patterns, feeling optimistic and experiencing more joy and pleasure, being more helpful and generous, and feeling less lonely and isolated”.

Try this:

Start by observing.

Notice the thank yous you say. Just how habitual a response is it? Is it a hasty aside or an afterthought? How are you feeling when you express thanks in small transactions? Stressed? Uptight? A little absent-minded? Do a quick scan of your body—are you already physically moving on to your next interaction?

Pick one interaction a day.

When your instinct to say “thanks” arises, stop for a moment and take note. Can you name what you feel grateful for, even beyond the gesture that’s been extended? Then say thank you.

What are other employees throughout Thrive doing to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine? Is there a spot in our weekly meetings for a quick gratitude practice? What are we doing as staff to promote the benefits of gratitude with the people we serve?

MIndful - A Simple Mindful Gratitude Exercise

*Disclaimer: I do not have any ties to or their magazine. Just a big fan!

Matt Darnold

Treatment Director
Willow Haven