How To Practice Gratitude Even When You Don't Feel Like It

empath thanksgiving Nov 19, 2020

 There are a million articles out there about the importance of practicing gratitude and how it can change your life. But, what happens when you just don't feel like doing it?

  Just be grateful and things will turn around.  It sounds like good, old-fashioned, logical advice right? Well, when you're feeling stuck, or having extreme difficulty in your life, then practicing gratitude seems pointless. It can be hard to find something to feel grateful about when everything seems to be going wrong. When the survival brain engages, you may feel stuck until you've achieved a level of security that moves you beyond basic survival needs. 

 So, how do you feel grateful when you're just trying to survive? Here are a few tips to get you started.  

1) Start listing things around you. 

When I've been overwhelmed by life and can't seem to focus on gratitude, I start by listing the things in my immediate vicinity that I'm grateful for like my dogs, being able to take a walk in the sunshine, cooler weather in the Fall, my car that's reliable, etc. I keep making a list of every "common" thing in my area that I'm happy to have in my life. My life runs smoother because I have these things. That's gratitude. 

2) Talk to someone who's a cheerleader.

 My normal state is a positive person who uplifts others. I'm kind of like a cheerleader that way. However, when I'm down and I need someone to lift me up, I turn to one of my friends to return the favor. Many people (especially empaths) don't like to share their burdens with others or to ask for help. They view this vulnerability as inherently unsafe.  I'm not a fan of keeping things to yourself because everyone needs help at some point. It's a sign of trust and strength to allow others to help you. Reach out to friends, therapists, or colleagues when you're in need of a mindset shift.

 3) Do things that bring you joy. 

 When you're in survival mode, you feel like joy is fleeting. Even when you do experience it, part of you may feel like it won't last. It's just a tiny speck of joyous sand in a desert full of sucky experiences.  So, it's important to seek joy when you're feeling low. It could be watching a comedy movie, hanging out with friends, coloring, going to a place that's special to you etc. Really let yourself experience it fully and then savor it. If this one thing was good, then more is sure to follow. Nothing lasts forever, even the bad times. Changing your mindset/vibration to one that matches joy is important for long-term happiness. 

 4) Start a Gratitude Journal for the next 30 days.

 You don't have to wait until Thanksgiving to feel grateful. Why not start a Gratitude Journal? Write down at least 3 good things that happened, 3 things that you're grateful for, or 3 things that brought you joy. Gratitude is like any other skill, and it takes practice. By recognizing and writing down what you're grateful for, you're re-wiring your brain to search for it even more. This raises your vibration and brings even more joy into your life. 

If you're still feeling stuck and overwhelmed, then a combination of resilience coaching paired with emotional release work can help you pinpoint the original source and release trapped emotions so that you feel better. 

Click HERE to schedule your appointment today. 


April Darley is a Confidence and Resilience Coach specializing in helping overwhelmed women release anxiety and doubt so they can become more confident, decisive, and have better quality relationships with others. Through the Three Brain Realignment Technique (TBRT), you'll learn how to step into your own power, and comfortably deal with life's challenges. 

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