I feel grateful.
Today I literally counted my blessings. I woke up feeling yucky – I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt listless and unsettled. I had a good night’s sleep. Nothing was really wrong – there were no problems to mitigate or solve, my children were all in a good place. I just felt down. Sad. Not like I wanted to get up and start my day.
So I lingered in bed and counted, out loud, all the blessings I had in my life. I put my thanks into the ether, sat back up and started my day. It was that easy. Expressing gratitude as an emotional practice can help you re-set how you feel, how you see the day ahead and how you see the world around you.
We all know that saying “thank you” is polite and kind. When someone does something nice for you, we give thanks. But gratitude is deeper. It’s about paying attention to what we’re grateful for in our lives so we can generate feelings of compassion and kindness toward ourselves, then others.
The first person that deserves a gratitude attitude is you. We can be so hard on ourselves as individuals. Our self-talk can often be about scolding ourselves, wishing we did something differently or better. Self-talk is often used to voice regrets, mistakes or misses. We punish ourselves for not being all we could have been or all we should have done. Facing regret is seen as a way to learn and grow. It can work, but it’s not the only way. Among all this negativity is also a lot of goodness that we can celebrate. It’s just as motivating. Unfortunately, we often take the good things for granted and focus on the bad, in the name of self-improvement.
And while it’s OK to acknowledge that we can all do better sometimes, these realizations must be boosted by the positive, proactive acknowledgement that we have much to be grateful for. Being grateful and expressing it aloud will help you cultivate an attitude of optimism, empathy, well-being and will give you the energy to get out of bed and get on with your day!
Feeling grateful is motivating. It’s a bountiful emotion. Some scholars have even called gratitude a ‘virtue’. When turned on ourselves, it helps us re-set that “yucky” feeling we all sometimes feel.
So when you’re hit with that “I don’t know what’s wrong with me today, I don’t feel myself” feeling. List off all the things you’re grateful for. Say them aloud or write them down. Make them real to you. Read them when you need to remember who you are to yourself and those you love.
Your gratitude attitude will help you live for what you have, not what you don’t.