Monday, October 10, 2011

Gratitude on grumpy days

What do you do on Thanksgiving Day when you are overwhelmed by worry or stress or you're grieving for people who were part of your life last year and are gone now?

Holidays arrive when they arrive; they don't always fit the circumstances of our lives at the moment when they arrive.  And that is precisely why they are useful.  The time we need to remember to say thank you is the time when we feel least like saying thank you.

In NLP, we have a concept that you may have heard of other places.  We call it "fake it till you make it."  We mean that sometimes it is useful to act like you feel the way you want to feel.  If you want to feel like someone who is genuinely grateful today, then act like that person would act.  Let your feelings catch up.

What would someone who felt thankful today see in your life that you are missing?  What would they value that you are allowing to fade into the wallpaper?  What would someone with a thankful heart appreciate about being inside your skin?

You don't have to feel good on holidays.  But if you'd like to feel better, then begin by focusing on the things that people who feel good focus on.  We know that gratitude journals help people facing depression or difficult transitions.  Why not start small?

Imagine what someone else would like about your life.  Then say thank you - to people, to the universe, to God if you believe.  Say it over and over. Eventually it will feel more natural.  And you'll feel better about the circumstances that made it hard to be thankful.

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