The content in this video was created from a question that came from a member of our awesome Growing With Gratitude Facebook Community. Here is the question:
“I have a question for you, do you have any tips for how to carry out doing gratitude activities/exercises when life or mood might not be so great. To clarify, I feel that sometimes it’s really hard to do gratitude exercises when I’m in a stressed or grumpy mood. Like it feels ‘forced’. (Yet ironically I know that doing gratitude exercises makes me feel generally happier longer term when I do them regularly).”
“I’m wondering in particular how to do this with children or young adults who may be resistant to the idea, so that it doesn’t feel like a chore at times?”
Watch the video to check out my answer.
My Facebook Answer:
“Awesome question ………. I can relate to that as I have experienced something similar. Every morning for about 9 months I would wake up, grab my note pad that was next to my bed and right down 3 things I am grateful for. After a while it started to get repetitive and although it reminded me each day how lucky I am it did start to lose its effect.
It was about the same time I read The How to of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. She had done a study where she discovered people who wrote what they were grateful for everyday started to lose that positive effect because it started to become a chore.
So what I do now is on Sunday mornings only I write 5 things I am grateful for instead of everyday.
Lyubomirsky talks about keeping the strategies fresh, not over doing one particular strategy. Vary the activities to gain maximum happiness boosts. Having said that you may find one particular activity repeated gives you the happiness boost you desire. Use the strategies, which best suit you.
I also did a mini pilot test of a group students last year. For 8-weeks the students had 3-4 daily activities they had to do. One of them was to each day write 3 things they are grateful for. The feedback from the testing was after a while they found it hard to think of things and the time factor.
Although it was a valuable exercise, daily for the kids was too much. Basically in my research I discovered do what best suits you.
If you are having a bad day you may go to your favourite gratitude exercise, or you could think to yourself “Well this … didn’t work for me today but I am grateful for…, ….., …., this happening today.”
And that thought process can just be enough for that day if you don’t want to engage in one of your activities.
Another idea, which I have written a blog post about is keeping a gratitude album. You can quickly look through that album, which is a easy way to remind yourself of the things you are grateful for. Its not a chore, just a quick 10 second reminder.
It all comes down to what works best for the individual. But I think its important to vary your gratitude activities so it doesn’t become a chore and you lose interest.
Just one last thing. Exercising is a big gratitude activity for me. Why? Because for a start I always come out of exercise feeling in a better frame of mind, but also its that reminder I do have 2 arms, 2 legs and I am lucky I can exercise because I am fully functional. Also I have read many examples of people who are missing limbs, but they are grateful for everything they do have.
THATS AN ESSAY. I hope it helps.
Hopefully I have answered your questions. Please tell me if I have missed your questions. Have an awesome day.”
When expressing gratitude be sure to do what works best for you. If it becomes a chore, vary up the way you express gratitude and kindness.
Gratitude is powerful, get the most out of it.
Please leave a comment: what gratitude activities best work for you?