'Count Your Blessings' App Encourages Gratitude

The Christian Aid organization is releasing a new phone application for the Lenten season.

Count Your Blessings is meant to help believers and users practice gratitude throughout the Lenten season, which begins on Feb. 22.

"As economic and political troubles increase around the world, many of us forget just how much we ourselves have to be thankful for," former Bishop of Durham Professor Tom Wright explained.

"Count your blessings is a great way of using the discipline of Lent to remind ourselves of just how fortunate we are, and of the very practical ways in which we can share our blessings with those in greatest need," Wright added.

Alex Connell wrote the software program, and stated, "What I liked about this app is the unique approach of making people think about who it is they're helping via donations, telling them how Christian Aid will support them, and making us realize how lucky we are to live the way we do. It's good to know code I've written might help improve or even save lives."

In a study conducted by Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Michael McCullough: "People who were in the gratitude condition felt fully 25 percent happier- they were more optimistic about the future, they felt better about their lives, and they even did almost 1.5 hours more exercise a week than those in the hassles or events condition."

"Practicing gratitude helps people extract the most out of life. People can also experience an overall shift to a more benevolent view of the world. I think it's a kind of a spiritual shift for some people because it makes them more aware of life as a gift," Emmons told BeliefNet's Kim Ridley.

"Thousands of people count their blessings with Christian Aid each Lent using our printed version, but we wanted to open up the experience to a whole new group of people who are more likely to check their phone than grab a pen," explained Anne Phipps.

You can get the app free from ChristianAid.org or the Android app store.