Having a daily gratitude practice will change your life. But what if you are grouchy? Or angry? Or depressed? How about just plain fed up?
How do you give gratitude then?
You have to start where you are. You can only start from where you are. That's where you are!
Perhaps you had a miserable day and all you can think is, "at least it's over". That is an excellent place to start. "I am grateful this day is over."
What if you are monumentally mad at your spouse and all you can think about is them [delete horrible thing] getting their comeuppance. That is still a great place place to start. "I am grateful I can lay here in bed all nice and cozy while I daydream about ways to get even", might come to mind. Or "I am grateful I don't have to take action right now, and I can cool off first."
Ok, I'm making up these examples as I go along. But the point is this: you have to admit your starting point and go from there.
If you are having a singing-in-the-rain kind of day, gratitude might come easily. "The rain!" "The songs!" "My smile!" If you are having a poop-on-your-shoe kind of day it might be difficult to think of anything you are truly grateful for. But you can't fake it.
You have to be honest.
Affirmations you can fake, but not gratitude. Fake gratitude is like nails on a chalkboard. Annoying. Affirmations I'll talk about in another post. Don't get me sidetracked. :)
So if it is the end of the day and you haven't done your Daily Gratitude and now you are cranky and about to pitch a a mini fit about having to bother (haven't we all?) - take a breath. Remember your brain answers what you ask it. If you ask your brain what you are grateful for, it will start looking. Just give it a moment. You might find you are grateful there is only poop on one shoe, and that you left that shoe on the porch. Unless you didn't, in which case you may be grateful for modern day cleaning products. You aren't going down to the river to beat your shoes on a rock to wash them are you? Or maybe you are. Then you might be grateful there is a nice rock there for you.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Cast around your day until you get a nibble on something you truly are grateful for. If you feel awesome, grateful will feel great. If you feel cranky or depressed or angry, then grateful will feel more like relief.
"I am grateful I did my gratitude list."
"I am grateful I get to sleep now."
So... when you are feeling cranky, don't try to do a Mary Poppins Supercalafragalistic happy pappy gratitude list. Just do a real one.