practicing gratitudeMuch like the skill of cooking, baking, writing or math, gratitude is a skill that needs practice. Now more than ever, it is important that we hone this skill of gratitude.

What is Gratitude

Gratitude is the act of being grateful or appreciative. A large part of being grateful is being able to pause and notice the things in life that we can be grateful for.

The definition of gratitude is centered on the appreciation of gifts earned and unearned. Research has found positive changes in brain regions with the practice of gratitude that make future experiences of gratitude more salient.

It is not only a feeling that we experience in response to something, but a choice that we make. It is important to recognize the choice in gratitude because we live in a very accelerated world, sometimes making it hard to appreciate all that we have.

A large part of being grateful is being able to pause and notice the things in life that we can be grateful for. Many of us are great at saying thank you to obvious gifts but it’s harder to recognize the gifts that are unearned like the small feelings of joy we experience when we sip a warm drink, or spend time with our friends or family; the way that the sun dances along a body of water or the way the fall leaves shine brightly and colourfully. These are all gifts, and with practice, we can feel grateful for them. Essentially, gratefulness is a way that we give life meaning by receiving it and all its parts as gifts.

You might be asking yourself, “how do I practice gratefulness?”. One way to practice gratefulness is to add small stop signs in your daily lives.

By adding stop signs to our daily lives, we can learn to practice being grateful. “Stop and smell the flowers” is a perfect example of putting small stop signs in your life.

A first step in practicing gratitude is to take a moment to appreciate things in your daily life.

Challenge yourself to stop and smell flowers, notice and thank the sun for shining or stop and be grateful for the amazing taste of the snack you might be eating. Small steps can lead to great leaps.

Be well and stay grateful.

Written by Samantha Memedoska

About OCP

Ontario Counselling and Psychotherapy is a group of psychotherapists and social workers in Ottawa, Cornwall, Toronto (and soon other cities in Ontario) who offer expertise in a variety of mental health areas and believe in an integrated approach to counselling. We work with you and pride ourselves in creating a strong relationship with our clients by ensuring that we are a good fit to help you attain your therapy goals. We offer individual, couple, family and child psychotherapy to clients all over Ontario.

We invite you to explore our site and contact the therapist of your choice. You will find our contact information under “Our therapists” tab. If you are unsure, call the centre at (613) 699-0060 or email at ocp.therapyinfo@gmail.com, and we will answer any questions you may have, direct you to a therapist, and, if you wish, set you up with one of our therapists.

We have grown! We started out as a small group of therapists in Ottawa, and we have expanded to the rest of Ontario. We offer virtual services for anyone in Ontario, and we have in-person offices in the Ottawa Region, Cornwall and the GTA. We also provide sessions at a reduced fee through our student intern program. Contact us to help you navigate our site or to set you up with one of our therapists!

Fees & insurance coverage

Our fees vary per therapist, you will find what each therapist charges under “Our therapists” tab. Fees vary between $125/hr and $200/hr depending on the therapist. Our services are not covered by OHIP and our therapists don’t offer a sliding scale. We do however, have Master level student interns who charge $80/hr and offer a sliding scale if needed.

If you have medical coverage through your employer or individual plan, please contact your insurance company before your appointment as many insurance plans do cover a portion of the services we provide.