How to Force Yourself to Be More Grateful

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If your heart is busting with gratitude – if you truly feel it in you – you won’t actually have room for any other emotion.

You can’t be grateful and angry at the same time, it’s impossible.

It’s one or the other.

Grateful or angry. Grateful or jealous. Grateful or miserable. Grateful or_____ (fill-in the blank with some negative emotion). And this is the thing: anything that you are feeling draws more of the same to you. Anger attracts more anger, fear attracts more fear. Gratitude attracts abundance.

Given that, it makes all the sense in the world to force yourself to be more grateful for your life, even when you don’t necessarily feel it.

Force Yourself to Be More Grateful for Your Life
Want to know how to force yourself to be more grateful for your life?! Of course you do!
Here’s how:

 1. Get Your Routine Down

Routines are extremely important, more important than I think we give them credit for.
They set the tone for our spirit, our minds, our emotions; they provide  a path for the unfolding of a day.
I mean, think about it: when you wake up and flip on your phone, tune into social media and the news, you are setting up a path for your day in which gratitude is almost impossible. How can you be grateful when you are being flooded by the fear that the news brings and all of the emotions that come with unbridled social media?
So: understand the path that will bring you want you want.
If you know that you want to feel good, and that when you feel grateful, it is literally impossible have negative emotions then create routines that you know will get you going.
A great routine will look different for everyone, but some elements that tend to be good additions are:
  • meditation
  • exercise
  • yoga
  • art
  • visualization (for your day, mentally planning everything as you’d like it be)
It’s also wise to NOT:
  • tune into social media until you have your day visualized and your routine completed
  • engage in the news or current affairs until you have your day visualized, routine completed
  • do ANYTHING before your routine that will set your day off kilter
Make your routine the most important part of your day: let it set the tone for you.
With your routine being the most important part of this post, let’s move onto the next few pieces that can really help your gratitude muscle, even when you aren’t feeling like flexing it.
force yourself to be grateful

2. Make lists

Sit down and make a list of things you are really, honestly grateful for. Start small if your life sucks. I mean, small. Like, think about feeling grateful for the refreshing breeze when you are hot, the feel of your child’s arms hugging you.
The absolutely crucial part of this is that it be sincere.
It means nothing and won’t change anything if you are just listing it because you think you should be grateful for it but aren’t really in your heart. So, be clear that it needs to be sincere, and it can be anything (the chair you are sitting on counts!), so long as it’s real.
The lists can be hard to start.
Once you get manage to get one, two, maybe even three things that you are truly grateful for, it gets easier. It starts flowing like the Little Engine that Could, chug by chug, bit by bit. Faster and faster and then it starts revving. But you have to keep with it and let it flow.
So, start small. Be consistent. Stick with it and let it flow. You’ll force that gratitude right on in and all the negativity will have to hightail it out!

3. Distract Yourself

When stuff can get dark and you start sinking, I think it’s helpful to distract yourself just to shift your vibrational energy.
Watch something funny – but truly funny, not dark/funny, yo!
Get outside (how many times have you heard that? A lot, right? Because it’s TRUE: get out there for a while and you’ll shift things emotionally).
I’ve got a list of funny movies linked here – I use a lot of them to distract myself or shift my feeling. I take photos to distract myself, paint, swim. I try and stay away from social media for distraction, because that’s more of a bogus sort of distraction – it consumes me and doesn’t let my brain recharge creatively or through humor.
You don’t need to be distracted for a super-long time, but it’s very helpful as a quick respite to gain breathing ground so you can shift your energy and then allow space for gratitude.

4. Play with Processes

Processes are ways to shift your energy. They are fun. They are playful. And they work.
I use these all the time. The LOA app is awesome. The book has more processes at the end of it. There are a lot more fantastic apps and processes all over the place (YouTube has a lot of them too).
law of attraction

Those are 4 ways to force yourself to feel more grateful for your life.

They all go back to the belief that gratitude – like any emotion – is a muscle that gets stronger with use, flexing, repetition and testing. It’s worth building that muscle because it will transform your life if you let it.


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Meriah Nichols is a career counselor, teacher and blogger. Single mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E), she is also a cat-loving Trekkie who likes her coffee hot and black.
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