Hands up if you’ve felt the need to roll your eyes when someone tells you to be grateful. When you’re through a difficult situation, the practice of gratitude can feel more like a chore or mandatory task than something that’s supposed to help you. Practicing gratitude has been proven to have a significant positive impact on both our psychological and physical wellbeing. It blocks emotions such as envy, resentment, and regret which can destroy our happiness. However we don’t always feel grateful and gratitude doesn’t work and we can’t feel the benefits of gratitude if it’s not genuine. So how do we practice gratitude when you don’t feel like it?
1. Observe The Moment
Take a minute to pause and reflect on your current experience and how you're feeling. Think about what's helping you cope with what's going on. Are there particular things, skills, lessons, situations or people making this situation easier, helping you manage your stress, feel good about your life or get things done? Remember a specific moment when you felt truly thankful and relive it, vividly. Think back of how it felt and notice the sensations in your body. Now let go of that particular memory but keep feeling the glow of gratitude inside. Knowing how thankfulness feels makes it easier to recall the emotion when you want to practice gratitude.
2. Reframe Your Experience
Compare your current situation with past negative experiences. This helps you see how your strengths, skills, etc. helped carry you through difficult times and helps remind you that there's things you can be grateful for now. You can also make a Reverse Bucket List. Write down all the big and small things you’ve achieved, even despite your problems. Maybe you set off on the trip of a lifetime or landed your dream job. Maybe you stood up for yourself, quit a bad habit or simply never gave up. Nobody can ever take those experiences and accomplishments away from you.
3. Write It Down
Keep a gratitude log where you note down things you're grateful for everyday. You can use the gratitude part of the Natrella App. This can look like simply listing 2 or 3 things you're grateful for. On days you're struggling to be grateful, you can go back to your previous entries to help you feel more grateful or just to get you out of your head. You can reap the most rewards from your gratitude journal by focusing on people and experiences rather than things you’re thankful for. You don’t have to make a long list of things you’re supposed to feel grateful for – a detailed description of one specific thing that sparked thankfulness works best.
4. Savor The Moment
Whenever you have a moment to be grateful for, allow yourself to be fully immersed in that moment. Feel the feels and absorb the joy of that moment. This can help you remember that there will be more moments of such joy and gratitude when you don't have any currently. Savoring refers to being mindfully engaged when you experience something positive. It’s about engaging all your senses to appreciate the simple pleasures in life. Instead go about your day with paying much attention to your surroundings, stop and smell the roses – literally. Feel the sunshine on your face, listen to the birds chirping and enjoy every bit of your meal instead of mindlessly gobbling it down. When you notice and appreciate the good in every day, from a warm shower in the morning to a cozy cup of tea at night, you automatically become more grateful for having these wonderful things in your life.