How to Feel Grateful When You…Don’t!

Sometimes it can be challenging – REALLY challenging – to get into a state of gratitude when you’re just not feeling it. Maybe you’re upset about something that’s going wrong, or angry at someone, or feeling so empty that you truly can’t summon a genuine feeling of gratitude at the moment.

The following exercise is going to share an easy way to start feeling grateful in a general sense, and once you reach that stage you should be able to apply your feelings of gratitude to specific situations in your life. Before you start the exercise, be sure you have a quiet place where you can be alone for 10 or 15 minutes without interruption.

Then, close your eyes and take several slow, deep breaths. As you inhale, feel your lungs filling with air and imagine that that life-giving oxygen flows easily throughout your entire body, cleansing and purifying as it goes. Exhale slowly and imagine that you are expelling stress, worry, anxiety, fear and other negative emotions out of your body. Keep breathing slowly and deeply like this for a few minutes, feeling more and more relaxed with every breath.

Then, say or write the following statements:

I am grateful for this moment.

I’m grateful that I have a few minutes to myself.

I’m grateful that I can make myself feel better just by sitting here.

I’m grateful that I can set aside anything that’s bothering me.

I’m grateful for the ability to choose my thoughts and improve how I feel.

I’m so grateful for the air that moves in and out of my lungs.

I’m so grateful that the oxygen makes my body feel so good.

I’m so grateful for this place where I am sitting right now.

I’m so grateful for my body being able to sit in this place right now.

I’m so grateful for the things that are going right in my life.

There ARE things going right in my life, even if there are also things going wrong.

I’m grateful for the knowledge that those things can get better too.

I’m grateful that nothing ever stays the same, change is constant.

I’m grateful that just by choosing better thoughts, I can create positive change in my life.

I’m grateful that I’m starting to feel a little more positive right now.

I’m grateful for this exercise that is helping me to feel more positive.

I’m grateful for the hopeful feeling that is blossoming within me.

I’m grateful that things can just keep getting better and better for me from this point on!

By this time you should be feeling quite a bit lighter and more positive, and you can either continue with similar statements as these — or you can now shift into focusing on gratitude for specific things in your life, like money, relationships with your loved ones, your work, health and well-being, etc.

Try it, it works! 🙂 The trick is to start very, very small with statements that don’t trigger resistance within you. Then gradually and steadily keep choosing more statements that make you feel a little more grateful and a little more grateful . . . until finally you are in a full blown state of gratitude and appreciation.