Making Self Care a Lifestyle: Practice Gratitude

This weekly blog series offers a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques that can reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Monday morning for the newest skill of the week.

Kendra Doukas“Gratitude has shown to be a powerful way to improve your mood and achieve greater wellness. It is easy to forget all of the simple things we can feel grateful for. ~ Kendra Doukas, MS, LMFT

Practice Gratitude

During a gratitude meditation you visualize all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Start with a few deep breaths, noticing your ability to breath in and out, notice your heart beating rhythmically. Notice your body’s unseen systems all functioning without any conscious effort. This can be a good place to start your gratitude meditation.

Notice your ability to breath, hands to touch, eyes to see, legs to walk and run, etc. Acknowledge other things, people, and experiences you are grateful for. Give each focus of gratitude the concentration it deserves. Try taking a few deep breaths for each thing you focus your gratitude on.

A few variations on this exercise: write out gratitude statements in a journal, take a gratitude walk focusing on gratitude for the natural world and your connection to it, write a gratitude letter to someone who has had a powerful impact on your life.



Kendra is passionate about her work helping individuals, couples, and families to heal and rebuild after major losses and traumatic events. Many clients often tell her that they appreciate how warm and approachable she is, and how knowledgeable she is about ways to treat the effects of disconnection, loss, and trauma. Many people seek Kendra out when they have tried therapy before and feel as though nothing has worked - her approach can benefit those who have not been helped by other forms of treatment. She works to identify the root cause instead of trying to treat the symptoms. Kendra excels at helping her clients to achieve healing that they didn't know was possible by blending well-researched approaches to treatment with her gentle and compassionate demeanor. Kendra believes in the connection between our minds and our bodies. She helps her clients to achieve peace and healing by utilizing mindfulness techniques and helping them to address the ways that they hold stress and tension in their bodies, especially after a traumatic event or a major physical transformation such as the birth of a child. Her clients learn how to listen to their bodies and their emotions so that they can sustain the positive changes brought on by therapy.