Here we go again! I woke up feeling worried for the myriad reasons we can all relate to in this complex not yet fully transformed world. The anxiety was accompanied by a familiar feeling of constraint in my chest, neck and shoulders.

This is how my thinking went ... “I needI woke up feeling worried to get my mindset into a positivity and joy mode. I often reflect on things I am grateful for and encourage my patients to do the same, but I have not specifically done so at times of anxiety and worry. Why not try?”

Here’s what I noticed ... one grateful thought, then many more naturally flowing, and my physical symptoms immediately changed to a feeling of openness and relaxation permeating through my entire body, accompanied by an overall holistic sense of well-being.

Furthermore, when I reflected on gratitude for family and friends or on joyous events, calling the person or the event to mind visually with all its accompanying details, it deepened the effect of my sense of well-being. This shifted my cognitive functioning far more quickly than other cognitive techniques I use in therapy.

“OK,” I thought, “maybe I am on to something!” As I integrated thoughts of gratitude naturally into my day, I found that what I felt grateful for began to deepen and shift to include the awesome beauty of nature, or the subtle yet amazing ways that G‑d has helped me navigate complex situations, when difficult things naturally and organically transformed. In short, it provided a deep awareness of the amazing miracles G‑d makes for us at every moment, every day.

Chassidic teaching explains that there are two broad categories of miracles: those higher than nature that shatter the natural order, and those couched within nature that work within the natural order. Of the latter, there are two groups. The first are miracles couched in nature, yet their pattern of “coincidental” events still reveals their miraculous qualities (such as the miracles of Chanukah and Purim). The second category are miracles so completely submerged in nature that even those receiving them don’t realize it.

Counterintuitively, the spiritual source of miracles vested in nature is higher than that of the more clearly miraculous ones. Moreover, the source of those miracles we may not even realize is the highest of all.

We will see more and more of these miracles as we move closer to the final redemption. Both because more will happen and also because G‑d will open our eyes to see that they are already happening—every day, every moment.

Focusing on gratitude is an easy and fastFocusing on gratitude is a fast track track to begin seeing and appreciating these miracles. In addition, it is highly infectious in the most positive way possible, permeating all our thoughts, speech and actions for the good, and even having a physical effect, spreading rapidly to others.

What a gentle but potent transformation, thanks to the awesome power of gratitude.

Sources: Maamar kymei tzetcha m’retz Mitzrayim, 5712, Torat Menachem. Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat Adar-Sivan, p. 164.