Fresh Views

GRATITUDE: Today’s word to jump-start a solution-focused practice

Andrea Bocelli performing Amazing Grace during Music For Hope – Live From Duomo di Milano on YouTube

Through many dangers, toils and snares We have already come. T’was grace that brought us safe thus far And grace will lead us home – lyrics from “Amazing Grace”

As April and this most stressful National Stress Awareness Month come to a close, it seems fitting to try to maintain mindfulness of the people, feelings and things big and small that we are grateful for. 

Today’s word is GRATITUDE

In solution-focused practice, emphasis is on the present and the future (rather than dwelling on past problems). We know there is a direct link between thoughts one thinks and the feelings they feel. Several studies suggest that expressing gratitude can decrease stress and anxiety by activating the areas in the brain that release the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. When practiced over time, healthy and productive thoughts can produce effective long-term benefit. A few months back we published a blog on developing gratitude practices, including keeping a gratitude journal. Read more about it here.

On April 12, one entry in both of our gratitude journals was renowned Italian singer, Andrea Bocelli’s, live stream solo performance on YouTube of Amazing Grace (pictured above). Another gratitude entry this month is that our article, A Paradigm Shift: Taking a Solution-Focused Approach to Practice  was published in the journal ADCES In Practice! While it’s exciting to be published, we are most thrilled for the opportunity to share with other diabetes care and education specialists how to embrace a solution-focused approach in practice, shifting from focusing on trying to “fix problems”.

Another thing we are both grateful for are friendships, far and near, and the video conferencing platforms that allow us to gather together on Friday nights for a “virtual happy hour”. We have fun catching up and sharing our weekly challenges and successes. Here we are hanging out last week! 

Tami & Mike, Deb & Mark, Joan & David and Terry & Karen

Through these “stay at home” orders, even though we live in four different states, we’ve had the epiphany, “Why didn’t we think about doing this before?” We can still connect and spend time with each other! We plan to keep doing this even after we no longer have to social distance. 

How to get started with gratitude practices?

In addition to the ideas shared in our previous blog on gratitude, here are 2 more strategies to help develop daily gratitude habits:

  1. Start a gratitude jar. A colleague of Deb’s shared this daily gratitude practice her family (children included) is using. When something is going well and they realize they are happy and excited, they write down what’s happening on a small piece of paper and drop it in a gratitude jar. Then during times when they are not feeling as happy and feel struggles, they go to the gratitude jar and read one of those slips of paper, bringing back those happy feelings. 
  2. Say a kind word. The quickest, simplest and easiest way to demonstrate gratitude is to say thanks to another. Let someone know exactly why you are grateful to have them in your life, sharing specific things they have done or said on your behalf.


We often close with inviting readers to participate in a solution-focused challenge. This week we challenge you to incorporate at least one gratitude practice into your conversations with clients. Encourage finding a daily time to practice gratitude and try to be consistent. Maybe it’s when they get up in the morning. Maybe it’s before they go to bed at night. Maybe it’s when they’re exercising. 

We @AFreshPOVforYou are grateful for pets and the smiles they bring! These last few weeks we’ve been spending so much extra time on screens big and small, that our cats are even joining in!

Tami’s “grand-kitty” Starry (Who knew she loved Andrea Bocelli and classical music??)

We are grateful for you all and appreciate the opportunity to share our passion for expanding the use of solution-focused principles into diabetes care and education.  We thank you for reading!

Deb’s “office cat” Puma watching Hulu!

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