There were (and will be) times in life when ‘gratitude’ feels hard. I guess it’s only human.
Despite knowing the benefits of gratitude, we also know that knowing what to do is one thing, while actually DOING IT is another thing. It can be hard to feel grateful when we’re going through rough patches, although this is probably the time when we need the ‘attitude of gratitude the most’.
So, during those times when I sit down to write my gratitude for the day and it feels somehow difficult (or I keep repeating the same things to be grateful about without really feeling it), I do this instead:
I begin by acknowledging the things that (I think) don’t go well in my life at the moment, and then I work with these prompts in my journal (or say these things in my mind):
1. “But at least, at the moment, I don’t have to worry about _______. So, thank you, for _______.”
2. “But, maybe it’s not THAT bad, because at least I _______. So, I’m grateful for _______.”
3. “However, today I can still _______. So, thank you for _______.”
I realize that framing my ‘gratitude’ this way, makes it feel easier. At times, it even feel more genuine, more relevant, and more immediate.
Let’s see one of those prompts in action:
“My flight is delayed for 3 hours, but maybe it’s not THAT bad, because at least I can spend my time working from here. Thank you for I still have work! And that my laptop is fully charged. And I’m grateful for this waiting room, with its free Internet access, with the AC working well, the plugs for recharging, and oh, thank you for those coffee shops nearby; so I can grab a cup of latte when I want. Wow, I’m grateful that I have more than enough money to buy a cup of latte…”
I find these prompts helpful to let me ‘roll’ into the ‘attitude of gratitude’ even if I started out by acknowledging my fears, worries, or difficulties.
As I write/think the next sentence, and the next, and the next, I can feel how each one gives my mood a tiny uplift.