Keeping a gratitude journal sounds very nice, doesn’t it?
I’ve heard many stories about how keeping one helps tremendously in reframing one’s mindset to be grateful for all that one has.
If you do this practice and you find it helpful, that’s wonderful!
I would encourage you to continue the practice if you find value in it.
For many people, this idea of keeping a gratitude journal feels forced, disingenuous, and burdensome.
At the same time, being grateful has significantly positive impacts on our wellbeing, so we don’t want to disregard it entirely. As studies show, gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions, improves mental health, and has a lasting positive effect on the brain.
If your attempts to keep a gratitude journal or even the idea of writing down what you’re grateful for doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options.
Rather than “practice gratitude”, here are some tips that will help you to BE GRATEFUL.
Tip #1 – Remember…You Are ALIVE Right Now!
What’s the probability of you being born?
According to author Mel Robbins, it’s about one in 400 trillion.
I’ll write that out to make it clearer.
The probability of you being born was 1 in 400,000,000,000,000.
Let that sink in for a moment.
All the odds were against you, yet still, you made it to this moment you’re experiencing right now.
You get this amazing opportunity each moment to live!
Forget about all the external possessions you have.
Put aside all the extrinsic validation you’ve held on to for so long.
Go within and experience the vibrant LIFE that’s within you.
You are a miracle.
I repeat…YOU ARE A MIRACLE.
The number of phenomena consisting of the law of cause and effect (which is too much for the brain to comprehend) miraculously led to your birth and to your existence in the present moment.
Tap into this truth.
Acknowledge the miracle that is YOU.
While I have 2 more tips in this article, you can stop reading here and go on with your day feeling immense gratitude for the life you have.
I won’t be offended.
Tip #2 – Imagine A Worse Scenario.
You’re in traffic and realizing you’re going to be late to pick up your daughter from her after-care program.
You’re frustrated and feeling justified in your anger.
Your daughter is going to be upset since she’s waiting there while all the other kids were picked up on time.
You can feel what it will be like, looking into the teachers’ eyes that are full of judgment as you frantically pull up to the school parking lot.
The voice in your head keeps repeating…
“You’re a terrible parent.”
“How could you mess this up?”
What is there to be grateful for about this situation?
Well…couldn’t your situation be worse?
What if the car didn’t start and you couldn’t even drive to pick her up from after-care?
What if on the way to pick up your daughter you get a call from the doctor informing you that you have stage 4 cancer and you only have 3 months to live?
What if this morning, on the way to drop off your daughter at school, a drunk driver hit the side of your car and killed your daughter so you wouldn’t even be IN this current situation where you’re arriving late to pick her up?
This sounds dark, I know, but hear me out.
Aren’t all of those scenarios possible?
Couldn’t they have happened?
Aren’t you GRATEFUL that they didn’t happen?
If they did happen, wouldn’t your prayers be answered if you were in the ACTUAL situation you’re in right now?
All it takes is a simple reframe of the mind to recognize that your situation could be MUCH worse.
This isn’t some fluffy practice consisting of blind faith or unrealistic imagination.
You could be in a MUCH WORSE situation you’re in right now, and that’s an undeniable truth.
You’re very lucky that you aren’t in that situation.
Take time to realize how much worse your situation could be, and you immediately feel gratitude for what you’re experiencing right now.
Tip #3 – Push The Ever-Present Reset Button.
“I’m ashamed about all of my past failures”.
“I’m worried about all of the upcoming challenges I’m going to face.”
“I’m stressed about all of the problems in my life.”
Every thought that suggests a lack of gratitude is anchored in either the past, or the future, or both.
Try to come up with an ungrateful thought that is NOT anchored in the past or future.
“Well Jay, I’m sick/depressed/angry/stressed in the present moment.”
I hear you.
What’s causing you to feel this way?
Why are you feeling this in the present moment?
What thoughts are behind this state that you’re in?
100% of the time, your thoughts are anchored in the past, the future, or both.
Your thoughts are creating the drama which is making you feel unpleasant and ungrateful in the present moment.
If you bring your mind to the here and now, there is no drama.
How do you do this?
Go to your senses and experience the present moment without labeling or conceptualizing what it is you’re experiencing.
Hear the sound of a bird singing and drop the labels your mind attempts to give to the sound.
Look outside your office window and see nature as it is, without giving names to what you see.
Smell the aroma of the coffee at your desk without analyzing whether it’s a “good” or “bad” smell.
This “reset” button is available to you at any moment of your choosing.
When you hit this button and arrive at the present moment, the feeling of gratitude for what is here and now is a natural byproduct.
Hit it as often as you need to.
P.S. There are a few seats left for our 8-week program where we deep dive into how to succeed professionally while maintaining our inner peace. To see if you’d be a good fit for the program, schedule a free 30-minute discovery call.