Practise Gratitude – Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Aug 17, 2023 | Lifestyle

By: Rachel Reva

Ever had one of those mornings where you just wake up and feel off?

Recently I woke up, had about 5 minutes before I needed to run out the door and sat down at my dining table with my journal. Usually, I’d use such time to write my thoughts, fears and concerns out to God just to ‘get things out’ – but this morning, it felt like I had done enough of that.

Like, I had been perhaps on the ‘complaining bandwagon’ for some time, and it clearly wasn’t making a difference to my mood. This morning I took a different approach. I sat down with my journal and decided to only write things I was grateful for. Truly, seriously grateful for.

Yes, I started with coffee. And the roof over my head. I’m ashamed to admit it took me a while to come up with a list of 5 things I was grateful for, simply because I had been focusing so long on what wasn’t working in my life. On minor annoyances, on things that had continued to frustrate me.

Where your Focus Goes, Energy Flows

If you are only going to focus on what you don’t like in your day, don’t be surprised if more of that shows up. If you make a decision to only focus, meditate and study on things that give you life – things that God has given you, the blessings that we take for granted, every single day – it’s an open invitation to invite more of that into your life.

Dr Caroline Leaf says:

“Thoughts are real things, and cause real, physical reactions in our brains and bodies by impacting what we say and do. When we learn how to self-regulate and design our own thoughts, we can choose the kind of reactions, and lives, we want to live. You are creating your next reality! If we don’t control this, toxic thoughts can grow like weeds, and are a lot harder to get rid of”.

Recently, I went to a sleep clinic for my baby – it was like baby boot camp to try and get our baby to sleep. After 5 days of hard core sleep deprivation, we left the centre with a more settled baby, but one that still wasn’t sleeping during the night. Not only that, the next day, he ended up in the emergency room with a virus he caught from the clinic. It was hard to be grateful for this experience, but when I re-framed it – I thought, ‘my son is healthy. Sleeping or not, I am so grateful he is in my life’.

In Philippians 4:8 is says: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

If you are finding it hard to connect with God, to reset yourself, just do this – make a list of everything you are grateful for right now – and say thank you. This one practice will re-frame your perspective and change your day.