Is Anything Blocking Your Gratitude?

With Thanksgiving coming upon us, it is always a beautiful time to feel our gratitude.  We all know gratitude has uplifting effects.  It improves happiness, optimism, generosity, sleep, energy, and facilitates a healthier mind, body, and soul.  So why is it so hard to stay in a place of gratitude all the time?  
We can fall out of gratitude for a multitude of reasons.  We forget the benefits.  We get busy.  We have a bad day.  Or, we hold ourselves back from gratitude because of our mindset.  The good news is we can change that with a shift in mindset.  
To foster more gratitude in your life and revel in all the benefits, you can start by looking at what might be holding you back from feeling gratitude.  Here are some of the mindsets that block people from gratitude. Use these as a starting point to see what might be true for you to make the shift. 

Guilt – “How can I be grateful with so much pain in the world?” 
Many people are full of compassion.  When you see others living with so much grit it can hard to feel good about the miracles in your life.  It is helpful to remember we are all connected.  When you can find gratitude in your life to lift yourself up you can actually help lifting those around you too.  
Fear – “What could I possibly be grateful for?” 
With so much going on in our world today it is easy to focus on your fears instead of what is going well in your life.  By focusing on what is not working it perpetuates the fear causing you to spiral downward even more.  To break the downward cycle, it is important to look for what is working so you can feel the gratitude to lift you up.  
Unworthiness – “I don’t deserve to be happy.” 
So many people in our world don’t think they are worthy of living in a place of peace and joy.  With that attitude, it would be hard to find what there is to be grateful for.  Embrace the fact that you are worthy of living your best life simply because you were born.  With that shift see what flows, including the gratitude.  
Pollyanna – “Life is supposed to be rainbows and unicorns.”  
Life is gritty.  It is our choice to find the blessings in even our most trying times while still allowing ourselves to feel what is real.  Make the grit the pearl.
Victim – “Nothing ever goes right for me.” 
In a victim mentality one does not see that so many things around them are working in their favor.  A victim mindset turns miracles into mistakes.  Blessings in to curses.  Flip your mentality to be empowered and you’ll see there are so many things to be grateful for right in front of you. 
Gratitude Itself – “I should be grateful for…” 
Seems strange that gratitude could block gratitude, no?  What happens is people stay in undesirable places because they feel like they “should” be grateful for what they have instead of going for what they really want and truly being grateful.  Make choices from your heart and it will support you in feeling the gratitude.
Remember too that gratitude is a practice.  It is something we need to work on every day of our lives.  Other than shifting your mindset, here are a few more ways to cultivate your gratitude.

  1. Look for Miracles – You find what you are looking for.  If you are always looking at what is wrong in the world it will be harder to find the things to be grateful for.  Look for miracles and that is what you’ll see!
  2. Reframe Issues as a Blessing – We cannot always change our circumstances.  We can change our perspective though.  Try reframing a challenge in your life as a blessing and see how that changes your experience. 
  3. Surround Yourself with Grateful People – Energy is contagious and if you are surround by people focused on the blessings in life you’ll feel the love.
  4. Gratitude Journal – Write down everything you are grateful for for a minimum of ten minutes a day and see how different you feel once you do.  
  5. Three Grateful Things – End your day by sharing with your loved ones three things you are grateful for that day.  This can be done in person or over a text message.  It will help to end each day on a high note for all involved. 
  6. Write a Love Letter – When we acknowledge others up we naturally fill our hearts with love.  Write a letter to a loved one or even a stranger to spread love and practice gratitude.  Remember to write one to yourself too!
  7. Grieve – When we grieve the loss of a loved one or a dream it is an act of gratitude by acknowledging the importance in our lives.     
  8. Slow Down – When we are too busy we live in a place of reactivity which makes it hard to see anything other than what is next on your to do list.  Slow down and take a deep breath and you will open yourself up to seeing the world in a new way full of gratitude.

With everything going on in our world today, it makes gratitude that much more important.  Be part of the solution and do gratitude however it works for you.  Not only will it lift you, it will lift all of those around you too!