Gratitude

As some of my readers may already know, for a year and a half starting in July 2020 I used Noom to lose over 25 pounds. Noom is an artificial intelligence app that uses cognitive behavioral therapy ideas to help people change their eating habits and their relationship with food. I didn’t really consider it a diet. I feel that it taught me how to control cravings and modulate my food responses to stress. Before I started Noom, I was getting regular deliveries of an Insomnia chocolate chunk cookie. It is not that I stopped doing that entirely, but I am able to realize having a bad day doesn’t always mean I need a cookie.

I often have trouble sleeping, mostly due to anxiety and an overactive brain. Because I had such success with Noom, when I found out that the company had expanded and now had another app called Noom Mood, I decided to sign up. Cognitive behavioral therapy also informs the 16-week program of Noom Mood.

Every week you get a new daily activity. I have enjoyed some of them more than others. The first week the activity was to create some space for yourself by being quiet for 15 minutes and then writing for one minute about what came up while you were quiet. Since I already have a meditative practice, I used the 15 minutes to meditate and then wrote, often for more than a minute.

The second weeks’ activity involved grounding, focusing on your physical body and your environment. To complete this task, I either practiced my recorder or did some banging on a drum. The drum and why I have it is another story that I will save for another time.

I really enjoyed the first two weeks of activities but hit a bit of a roadblock last week. The activity involved freeing your emotions by thinking about where in your body you were feeling a particular emotion. To fully visualize where you were feeling stress, anger, or joy you were supposed to draw a stick figure and mark on it the places where you were having your somatic experience. I found this activity difficult and a bit overwhelming. It was hard to focus on one feeling at any given moment and then figure out where it was expressing itself in my body. Because the activity involved drawing, I now realize that my need to be perfect interfered with my ability to complete it.

This week the daily activity is gratitude. The exercise framed gratitude as a choice, a way to look at life and get something positive out of it. One suggestion was to see if you could be grateful for any privileges you are having on a particular day. The example they gave was time for yourself. Another suggestion was to find something in the present moment to be grateful for. Right now, I am grateful I have the means and ability to write this blog post.

During this past week while attempting to complete the daily activity I’ve tried to think about what I am grateful for and why. Monday, because the weather was so beautiful and warm, my husband and I took a nice long walk. I felt grateful for every part of the experience. The gratitude increased my happiness, which is the way it’s supposed to work.

I have 12 weeks left of Noom Mood. Although none of the lessons so far have pertained to insomnia, I am learning more about myself and am grateful for the insights I am gaining. Life is a process, and you can always learn something. You can always change and grow.