not feeling grateful

10 Things I Do When I Can’t Feel Grateful

Part of a new meditation I’m doing includes a few moments of reflection on what I’m grateful for. This morning, I knew what there was to be grateful for, but I couldn’t feel grateful, and it bugged me. I know that appreciation is beneficial, but feeling gratitude is what really sets me up for a good day and helps me take action on my day and attract the things I want to attract.

10 Things I Do To Get That Gratitude Feeling

What To Do When You Don't Feel Grateful

Social scientists have found that the fastest way to feel happiness is to practice gratitude. – Chip Conley

I think that’s a funny quote about gratitude. When you are not happy, it’s hard to feel grateful! So, it can seem like a losing battle since gratitude creates happiness.

Even though I’m usually able to feel appreciation for things, there are moments where my life has a lot going on and my mind won’t let me focus on those things so I can feel grateful like I want to. During those moments, I do one of the following 10 things to get myself back into a grateful mood where my happiness, career, relationships, health, and everything else benefit from.

1. Start Writing Things Down

I’ve talked about how writing things you are grateful for down can help you feel more grateful. And, I still believe it’s one of the best ways to encourage yourself to feel grateful. As you write, you focus on things that are positive in your life, and, usually, you start to get a vibe of gratitude that makes you feel good. And all you need is a small vibe. You can build off a small feeling and create bigger and bigger feelings of gratitude until you are consumed with appreciation.

But, sometimes this doesn’t work. Sometimes your mind keeps going back to things that are keeping you from feeling grateful. That’s where other techniques come in.

2. Pull Up Some Gratitude-Inspiring Pictures

Visuals are powerful. Especially when they are of something that makes you feel alive, amazing, in awe, or inspired.

For me, gratitude-inspiring pictures are of nature. I feel most grateful when I’m sitting by the ocean, so ocean pictures usually make me feel amazing. I find Pinterest is a great place to find a variety of new pictures on a subject that you want to see.

For a friend of mine, good food is what makes her feel grateful. So she will get on Pinterest and search out some ‘food porn‘ as she likes to call it.

3. Open Up A Course And Start Doing It

I’m almost always taking some sort of course, usually from MindValley. And, if I don’t feel good or positive, I just pull up my course and start listening and participating.

Because it’s a course I was interested in (interested enough to buy it and start taking it), it naturally evokes feelings of positivity, and gratitude can be felt much easier than. And, as I focus on the course, I get pulled into its energy and out of my funk, which creates even more positive energy and feelings of gratitude.

4. Talk To Someone I Haven’t Talked To In A While

I have a friend who lives across the country. We don’t talk much, but when we do, I always feel good when I get off the phone which allows me to feel grateful.

I think it’s in part because we talk about stuff that resonates with the two of us. I also think it’s because we laugh and reminisce and that naturally puts me into a higher state of energy.

Plus, when you talk to someone you don’t normally talk to you, it feels like you are breaking out of your routine. And often a routine can keep you from feeling different than you do. When you step out of it, and have a new experience (or an old experience that you haven’t had in a while) it shakes things up inside of you and makes it easier to get unstuck from your current thoughts and feelings.

5. Think Of Things I’ve Overcome

I feel grateful for everyday things, like interacting with my sweet and funny dogs. But, I also feel grateful for things I’ve accomplished in my life.

For instance, at a time we needed money, I was able to sell one of my websites and solve the money issue. When I think of that, I feel grateful.

There are plenty of experiences I’ve had where I’ve overcome a fear or problem, and when I think of those experiences, I feel good about myself and what happened as a result.

I highly recommend taking some time to sit back, think of things you’ve overcome, and see what happens.

6. Read Some Quotes

Because I write a lot, I find myself engaged with a lot of quotes. And every time I immerse myself in quotes of any kind, I come away with more awareness around the topic of the quotes. This is because quotes are full of wisdom and inspiration – two things that work together to shift your thoughts and your mood.

I actually went and read these gratitude quotes just so I could explain how they made me feel more clearly. I read the first half of the page and I found that a few things happened:

  • I feel like taking action on things that make me feel grateful.
  • I feel more connected to other people, which I know will inspire more gratitude throughout the day.
  • I feel more present, which is where I often feel the most grateful.
  • I suddenly feel like reading something from Esther and Jerry Hicks. (That’s inspiration working to bring me what I want (gratitude), so I know if I follow that inspiration/idea, gratitude will multiply.)
  • I want to avoid complaining today because it will help me stay in a higher state of energy.

You don’t have to read gratitude quotes, though. If you are stuck on something that is keeping you from feeling grateful, then find quotes around that subject. They may help you release any negativity that is holding you back from appreciation.

7. Start A Challenge

As I’ve said, doing something out of your routine, like talking to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, helps you get unstuck from your thoughts and feelings and can help you start feeling more appreciation.

However, if you want to take it up a level, challenges are the way to go. Start a 10-day, 20-day, or 30-day challenge and your whole energy will shift as you plan and prepare for this challenge.

Today, my husband and I canceled our TV. The feeling we got from it was a little fear (what will we do without walking dead?!), but mostly excitement. And that excitement put us into a higher energy state where gratitude lives, so it’s not hard to feel appreciation for things right now as we go through this new experience!

8. Say Thank You

Gratitude is about saying thank you in one way or another. It’s about feeling good about what you have or what has happened, so it’s only natural that saying thank you can help you feel more grateful.

I say thank you to people whether they hear me or not. It’s for my benefit, so it doesn’t matter if they hear me. Plus, I feel like the energy of the words reaches them anyway, but that’s for another article.

So, say thank you for everything that happens from this moment forward. Even if you don’t feel grateful for what has happened, say the words and allow yourself to see if you can find why you should feel thankful. The more you say thank you and practice looking for the reason, the more grateful you will feel.

The old saying applies here… If you look, you will find it.

9. Say ‘I Am Enough’

This is something I learned from MindValley during a course. It was taught during a lecture by Marissa Peer. You can watch the video below. It is quite long, but it gives you a clear idea of the power of the mind.

Basically, the idea is to write down ‘I am enough’ everywhere and say it often. When I first did this, it felt weird but good. And one day I found myself talking to a friend about something troubling, and then I included the fact that ‘I am enough’ into the conversation. I was surprised when I did it, but I realized that it had become a mantra in my life, and it has helped me stay in a more positive state where I can feel gratitude.

I think the idea of ‘I am enough’ helps me feel grateful for the simple reason that everything else – my worries, my fears – drop away as I focus on myself and how I’m worth it. It helps me get out of a negative head space and into a more positive one, and my emotions follow suit.

10. Meditate

If you asked me how I feel grateful when I feel like crap a few years ago, I may have said ‘I sleep it off’. I still believe that sleep helps you let go of some negative emotions and restructure your thoughts, but you can’t always sleep when you feel like crap. You can, however, take a few minutes to meditate, and it also gives you a chance to let go of negative emotions and thoughts and restructure how you feel.

If I feel like crap, I never try to meditate without guidance. It just won’t happen because my thoughts will pull me back to my worries, negativity, or fears. So, I use things like Zen12. zen12 files

Zen12 has 12 levels/month’s worth of meditation and works with brainwave audio. Basically, brainwave audio helps your mind get into a state of alpha (this is a state that is known to reduce depression) and out of a state of chaos. And it gives me four different choices of meditation, including music, sounds of nature, white noise, and guided meditation, so it offers me something to fit my mood and what I think I will find most relaxing. You can try out a free meditation from Zen12 here.


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