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Three Questions to Ask to Lead You to a Life of Gratitude


Naikan Therapy is a method of daily self-reflection that originated in Japan. It encourages gratitude and self-awareness and it reinforces the value of our relationships, using them as the mirror through which we see ourselves. We learn to focus less on our day-to-day concerns and more on our interactions with others. Introspection is a key component, and through it we gain insight and a better understanding of ourselves; which leads to a happier, more fulfilling existence.

Naikan Therapy is based on three simple questions:

  1. What did I receive from others today? (This could be perfect strangers or people you know.)

  2. What did I give to others today?

  3. What difficulties did I cause others today?

When I personally practice Naikan Therapy it opens my eyes to the profound and positive impact that other people have on my well being; also my impact on them, good and bad. It inspires me to count my blessings and consider things I say and do that might cause frustration for those around me. You can practice Naikan Therapy for a day, a week, or as long as it speaks to you. However long, the goal is that you’ll share your experiences. We connect with others through our stories, and the gift in the sharing.

Here are a few tips to get you get started:

  1. At the end of the day, spend a few minutes reflecting on all three of the questions and write down your responses to each.

  2. At the end of the week, review your responses and write about your experience. What did you learn about yourself through this experience? What did you learn about your relationships? How did this change your perspective? How will you proceed in the future?

  3. Write a Thank You note to someone who is special to you, or has impacted your life in a unique way. Let them know how much their act of kindness or their presence in your life means to you.

Naikan Therapy is simple and rewarding. Three questions have the power to promote gratitude and self-reflection and to impact our relationships with others. I can’t think of a better way to start out the week.

Best to you in health and gratitude~

- Angie


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